Magical has Pretty Polly rivals spellbound at The Curragh

Magical had no problem giving Irish Oaks hope Cayenne Pepper 12lb with an easy victory in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh.

The 1m 2f race for fillies and mares went to trainer Aidan O’Brien for the fifth time. Seamie Heffernan kept it simple on Champion Stakes double heroine Magical and made all.

Sent off odds-on at 2/5 with bookmakers, backers of Magical never had an anxious moment. She ran out a 4 1/2 lengths winner over Jessica Harrington’s Cayenne Pepper.

Ballydoyle stable companion Fleeting was a further 1 3/4 lengths behind in third with 33/1 outsider True Self fourth. The disappointing filly here was Ger Lyons’ Roco Roma.

Tipped by the trade paper on the back of a maiden win and an entry in the Irish 1000 Guineas which she didn’t take up, Roco Roma finished last. It was a huge step up in grade and, despite generous weight-for-age terms, too much too soon.

O’Brien is now looking at stepping Magical up in trip. “The King George at Ascot is the obvious race to look at now,” he said after the Pretty Polly Stakes.

Magical is between 3/1 and 4/1 with the bookies for the 1m 4f Group 1 contest on 25 July. She also holds an early closing entry in the Tattersalls Gold Cup which she won last year.

Analysis: Easy money for Magical

Jamie Clark, Editor

Congratulations if you got odds against for Magical ante post in the week. Bookies overestimated Fleeting here who, despite the benefit of a run, didn’t go through with things when challenging Cayenne Pepper for second.

I wouldn’t be in any great hurry to pile into Harrington’s three-year-old for the Irish Oaks, though. On adjusted ratings, Cayenne Pepper came out level with Magical.

She was bumped along for a stride or two approaching the bend as Shane Foley went to wake Cayenne Pepper up. While she did keep on and turn Fleeting away, Magical won easily.

There looks little to be gained in renewing rivalry with old nemesis Enable in the Eclipse at Sandown next week, though.

O’Brien is now looking at the King George but, if Magical were mine, a defence of her Tattersalls Gold Cup crown would be infinitely more preferable.

Enable has always had her number. It makes more sense to avoid further clashes with John Gosden’s wonder-mare.

Magical is all the more remarkable as her Coolmore connections didn’t intend on keeping her in training this season. There are upsides to the global pandemic after all, as it keeps her on the track for now. Let’s enjoy her!

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