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May 17, 2011

Together heads a strong cast for Irish 1000 Guineas

curragh-logo TOGETHER ran the race of her life when narrowly edged out by Blue Bunting at Newmarket and the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly is sure to be all the rage when she attempts to go one better in the Group One Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday. The daughter of Galileo, currently 9/2 second favourite with Paddy Power,  is one of 16 entries for the fillies Classic which takes place on Ladies Day and could be joined in the race by her stable companions Why, Look At Me, Misty For Me and Wild Wind who was third in last Sunday’s French 1,000 Guineas at Longchamp.

There are plenty of fast improving fillies waiting in the wings should Together fail to deliver on her Newmarket promise, not least of all the John Oxx-trained Emiyna who has been installed as 4/1 by Paddy Power . The latter was immediately nominated for this race following her recent success in the Athasi Stakes.  Banimpire, Chrysanthamum, Rose Bonheur and Seaharn are other Irish-trained fillies well worth their place in Sunday’s line-up.

Majestic Dubawi is the sole overseas challenger. Trained by Mick Channon, she is having her first start of the season here, but she was a top filly last season and fitness is unlikely to be an issue.

Australian champion So You Think created a huge impression when landing the Group Three High Chaparral EBF Mooresbridge Stakes at this venue just over two weeks ago on his debut for Aidan O’Brien and is the one they all have to beat in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup. The son of High Chaparral has been installed as 1/3 hot favourite by Paddy Power having oozed class that afternoon when coming home hard held to beat Bob Le Beau by 10 lengths. Admittedly he faces stronger opposition (Await The Dawn 7/1, Famous Name (7/2), Campanologist 10/1 and Jan Vermeer 16/1 are also entered) on this occasion, he looks well up to the task.

The Group Three Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes has attracted 13 entries, including the Richard Hannon-trained Moriarty. Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien holds a strong hand here with four entries in Alexander Pope, Last Crusade, Robin Hood and Why, while John Oxx can choose between Adilapour and Swampfire.

The President of the United Arab Emirates Cup is another feature on the racetrack as some of the world’s leading Arabian horse’s line up in this prestigious contest with 11 entries featuring runners from Britain, France and Germany.

The whole weekend of top class racing will have a distinctly Arabic flavour with many elements of Emirati life and culture being showcased in an Arabian Village, which will feature a variety of activities to promote the attractions of Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways will also feature a spectacular display to showcase their association with Formula One motor racing.

Glamour and style will also be a key ingredient on Sunday with Ladies Day featuring a spectacular prize for the lady judged to be Most Stylish of a 5 star holiday in Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways. Judges include Sinead Desmond, travel writer Karen Creed and Melanie Morris of Image Magazine

The first of eight races at the Curragh on Sunday gets under way at 1.40pm. The ground is currently good to firm and watering commenced this morning.