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March 16, 2010

Curragh season commences Sunday 21st march

A quality program of seven races kicks off the 2010 season at the Curragh this Sunday.

The weekend fixture, which is the first of 19 racemeetings to be schedule at Headquarters this year, features the Group 3 Lodge Park Stud Park Express Stakes and the Tote Sports Lounge Irish Lincolnshire.

The Group 3 contest has attracted an entry of 18 fillies and mares, which includes three overseas trained challengers in Ahla Wasahl, Chantilly Tiffany and Danehill’s Pearl. Jim Bolger, who won this race twelve months ago with Oh Goodness Me, has entered three for the one mile contest, including the top rated Atasari, while Dermot Weld has three to choose from Precious Gem, Rare Ransom and Ana Verna. Aidan O’Brien, meanwhile, can select between Devoted to You, Lady Lupus and Black Eyed Susan.

The Tote Sports Lounge Irish Lincolnshire is always a well contested race and this year’s renewal will be no different. Designated Decoy, who was a close up third behind Pollen in this race last year, is one of 25 entries for the race. His trainer Dermot Weld has also entered Award Ceremony who has the benefit of a run already this season. Other notable entries include Barak, Grand Admiral, Greatwallofchina, Motafaany and Hujaylea

The Madrid Handicap is another competitive affair which has attracted an entry of 18 three year olds. The Aidan O’Brien trained Purple Heart is top of the ratings and the Ballydoyle based trainer is also represented by Benvenuto, while local trainer John Oxx can rely on Akinndi.

Other notable entries for the seven furlongs contest are Del Mar, Hen Night, Knight’s Templar and White Front.

The race day starts with a very competitive juvenile event sponsored by Tally Ho Stud with four representatives from the powerful Aidan O’Brien team

An additional bonus for racegoers will be the opportunity to see some of Aidan O’Brien’s Classic race hopefuls in action after racing including last year’s champion European two year old St Nicholas Abbey. It is hoped that some of our Cheltenham heroes will be on view during the afternoon in the parade ring.

The ground at the Curragh is currently Yielding.