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Tahiyra pleasing Weld ahead of Irish 1,000 Guineas test

© Photo Healy Racing

Tahiyra will attempt to go one better than her Newmarket second and provide Dermot Weld with back-to-back victories in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh today.

The Rosewell House handler and jockey Chris Hayes combined for Classic glory with Homeless Songs 12 months ago and have a real chance of repeating the dose with the exciting Aga Khan-owned daughter of Siyouni.

Tahiyra headed to the Rowley Mile unbeaten in two outings as a juvenile and although the 6-4 favourite suffered her first defeat when second after a real tussle with Saeed bin Suroor’s Mawj, she left Newmarket with her reputation enhanced having produced such a fine effort on just her third outing.

Having shown her handler she has recovered sufficiently from her 1000 Guineas exertions, she is now given another opportunity to add a Classic to her CV.

“She was a bit tired after the race, but she travelled home on the ferry and came home well and then she has picked up nicely and we’ve been pleased with her,” said Weld. “It was a massive performance.”

Weld is double-handed in the contest and will also saddle Tarawa who like her stablemate sports the colours of the Aga Khan.

A winner over seven furlongs at two, she was a fast-finishing second in the Cornelscourt Stakes at Leopardstown on reappearance and Weld anticipates a good showing.

He continued: “She ran very well in the Group race at Leopardstown. I’ve been pleased with her work and expect her to run a very nice race.

“I’m happy with both fillies, they are both equally well and I expect them to run equally nice races.”

Homeless Songs’ victory for Weld last year ended a three-year winning run for Aidan O’Brien in the contest and the master of Ballydoyle is mob-handed with Meditate Jackie Oh and Dower House as he bids to regain the winning thread.

It is Meditate that appears to have the best chance of handing O’Brien his 11th success in the race and he has been happy with what he has seen from the daughter of No Nay Never since slightly disappointing at Newmarket.

O’Brien said: “We’ve been very happy with Meditate since Newmarket. It’s going to be much different ground, obviously the ground at Newmarket was soft and it was her first run.

“She didn’t have a real clear run through the whole winter into the spring.

“Meditate is very classy, has always been very good, and everything has gone very well with her since Newmarket. That’s a very good sign.”

Stablemate Jackie Oh was thought of as a possible Oaks contender after winning over a mile in heavy ground at Naas on debut.

However, after being touched off in a fact-finding mission in the Salsabil Stakes over 10 furlongs, plans were altered and the Galileo filly reverts back to the mile on this occasion.

“We ran Jackie Oh in Navan over a mile and a quarter to see if we would go the Oaks or Guineas route,” continued O’Brien.

“Ryan (Moore) thought that maybe it was far enough for her, so we’d said we’d come back to the Guineas. We can go up after that again if we like, she seems in good form.”

Jessica Harrington’s Eternal Silence is still a maiden but reappears in deep waters following an encouraging run in the Moyglare Stud Stakes behind both Tahiyra and Meditate in her final appearance at two.

“It’s been a frustrating spring with Eternal Silence as she was meant to run in a few maidens but due to going, we didn’t run her,” said Kate Harrington, who is assistant trainer to her mother.

“Thank God the sun has shone for the last 10 days and we’re going to have good ground. She goes there in great form. She was a big filly last season and she’s really filled her frame out over the winter.

“She was a good third in the Moyglare last year behind Tahiyra and Meditate, has had a few racecourse gallops and we go there hopeful of a big run.”

The sole British challenger in the race is provided by John Quinn’s Breege who performed admirably in Group contests as a two-year-old last term.

She was last sighted finishing fifth in the Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp and although taking her time to come to hand this spring, Quinn hopes she can acquit herself well on reappearance.

He said: “I’m happy with her. She’s taken a while to come to hand, but we’re pleased with her. Obviously we feel she is good enough to take her chance so we’re hoping for a good run.

“She ran very well last year and very well in France on bottomless ground. The winner of the French race (Blue Rose Cen) is probably the best three-year-old filly we’ve seen — she went on to win the French Guineas emphatically a couple of weeks ago. So I’m happy with the filly and hopeful of a good run.”

Fozzy Stack saddles both Amethyst Stakes runner-up You Send Me and Cornelscourt Stakes third Aspen Grove with Jim Bolger’s Comhra fifth on that occasion and now tried in first-time cheekpieces as she completes the field of 10.