curragh 22nd Apr
The Curragh stages a quality eight-race card featuring the return of Excelebration in the Group Three Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes.
The former Marco Botti inmate enjoyed a stellar three-year-old campaign, winning three times at Group level including the top-class Prix Du Moulin at Longchamp in September.
Bought by Coolmore after finishing second to Frankel in the QEII, it will be disappointing if he can't make a winning start for Aidan O'Brien, especially as he beat Beacon Lodge by six lengths in the Hungerford Stakes last term.
O'Brien will also be looking for a positive start to 2012 for exciting Classic aspirant Nephrite.
He oozed class in scoring on both juvenile outings and, providing he has gone the right way over the winter, should prove too good for Tough As Nails and Bible Black in the Anne Brewster Memorial Loughbrown Stakes.
On what promises to be a fruitful day for the Ballydoyle trainer, O'Brien also has outstanding claims with recent Cork runner-up Infanta Branca in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over five furlongs (2.20).
The Listed Run Kildare 13th May Alleged Stakes will be heading elsewhere, with Dermot Weld's lightly-raced filly Zaminast of particular interest against recent Group Three scorer Chrysanthemum, who must now concede weight all round.
John Oxx fires five at the 10-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, with Johnny Murtagh opting for Ebazan, but O'Brien is likely to be on the scene again and his pair, Lebron and Marchese Marconi, make plenty of appeal.
Limerick winner Cnocan Diva could defy her revised rating in The Irish Field Handicap, while Ansaab, second to Sharestan in the Irish Lincolnshire, is a major player off just 3lb higher in the Finlay's For Volvo Handicap.
The concluding 3 For 2 Ticket Offer At www.curragh.ie Handicap is open, but County Hurdle fourth Plan A seems very well treated back on the Flat.
» All news for Sun, 22nd Apr, 2012
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