Thursday, 11th Jun 2020
Globetrotting Coolmore mare Magic Wand is 9lb and upwards clear of the Lanwades Stud Stakes field on adjusted ratings, so she is a worthy favourite in the 1m Group 2 contest at The Curragh on Saturday (19:45).
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, this five-year-old daughter of the mighty Galileo drops down to this trip for only the second time in her career.
Magic Wand is three from 24 career starts, but has also run massive races in defeat across the world. She tried to give subsequent Breeders’ Cup heroine Iridessa 12lb in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes here last year and came second.
As Magic Wand also filled the same spot behind Bricks And Mortar in the Arlington Million, and the winner also went on to Breeders’ Cup success, she ran really well in America.
Back in Ireland, she chased home stable companion Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes. Magic Wand then went Down Under and landed the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes by a length.
She was then a gallant runner-up in both the Kong Kong Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park. After so long on the go – 13 races in as many months across four continents – Magic Wand can be forgiven her ninth in the Saudi Cup.
Connections have since given her a deserved break. The Lanwades Stud Stakes is her easiest assignment in a very long time, so Magic Wand should have the class to win it over a trip that is short of her optimum.
While the favourite needs to underperform quite a bit here, this distance suits Aga Khan owned filly Hamariyna.
Trained by Mick Halford, this four-year-old daughter of Sea The Moon landed the Group 3 1000 Guineas Trial last term. Hamariyna had the re-opposing Lady Wannabe well-beaten that day.
Although then she didn’t fire in the Oaks Trial next time out, there were excuses. Vets found Hamariyna had a dirty nose afterwards and she didn’t race again last season.
However, she made a very promising return to action in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes at Naas. Carrying a welter burden of 10st 2lb, Hamariyna chased home Lemista, staying on into second and beaten only three-quarters of a length.
As she tried to give the winner a massive 19lb, it was a huge effort. If the trip proves too sharp for Magic Wand, then it could be Hamariyna who takes advantage.
In the 7f Group 3 Gladness Stakes (18:45), the lightly-raced Lancaster House is an intriguing runner now dropped in trip.
On adjusted figures, the Aidan O’Brien trained four-year-old comes out 1lb clear of top weight Speak In Colours. That rival is trained by son Joseph, who is yet to have a winner since Irish racing resumed at the time of writing.
Lancaster House is by Galileo, so this distance is pretty sharp but, as with Magic Wand, he is the best horse in the race on these terms.
After just four career starts, there is plenty more scope for improvement. Lancaster House has won three of those, landing a Listed affair at Listowel’s Harvest Festival on his penultimate outing.
He finished lame when last in action in the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes. Off a 273-day break to get him right, Lancaster House may have found a nice opportunity to bounce back.