Friday, 26th Jun 2020
Irish Champion Stakes heroine Magical makes her reappearance in the 1m 2f Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh this Sunday (16:45), but cannot be opposed.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien who has saddled four previous winner of the race, this five-year-old daughter of Galileo won five of her nine starts last season.
After notching a hat-trick in the spring, Magical was sent off the 13/8 favourite for the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Only Crystal Ocean proved too good for her that day and she then chased home old rival Enable in the Eclipse at Sandown and Yorkshire Oaks.
Magical got her head back in front with victory over stable companion Magic Wand, a winner this season, in the Irish Champion at Leopardstown.
She was far from disgraced when beaten 10 lengths and fifth to Waldgeist in the Arc. Magical then won the British Champion Stakes at Ascot on her final start of the campaign.
Those highly consistent displays at elite level set a clear and obvious standard for the Pretty Polly Stakes. Magical has 8lb in hand on stable companion Fleeting and tops official ratings on a mark of 122.
Although she must give 12lb to Cayenne Pepper and they come out level on adjusted figures, Magical has achieved so much more than the youngster.
For that reason, she appeals most to add yet more Group 1 glory to her extensive CV. The odds on offer for Magical reflect her strong favourite’s chances, however.
Jessica Harrington trained filly Cayenne Pepper progressed throughout much of last season, so looks an obvious forecast choice or each-way bet.
The three-year-old daughter of Australia hit a hat-trick in her first three starts. After minor wins at Leopardstown and Tipperary, Cayenne Pepper made a comfortable step up into Group 3 company over course and distance.
She beat a handy marker in So Wonderful here. Although the runner-up is still a maiden, she came third in the Irish 1000 Guineas earlier this month.
Although only fourth on her first British start in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, Cayenne Pepper ran fine. She rallied after becoming outpaced on the Rowley Mile’s famous dip.
Despite some interference inside the final furlong, she kept on and went down by three lengths. Cayenne Pepper was just over a length behind Love, who has returned to Newmarket and won the 1000 Guineas.
That reads well in relation to the Pretty Polly Stakes. On her pedigree, Cayenne Pepper should appreciate the step up in trip and went well fresh last term.
On all known form, she is second best here. The large weight Cayenne Pepper gets from Magical means race terms are on her side, but this demands more from her.
Although open to progress, there is only one proven Group 1 performer in the race. Cayenne Pepper should beat Fleeting for the runner-up spot, however.
Speak In Colours can go one better than when runner-up in the 6f Group 2 Greenlands Stakes last year (16:15).
Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the five-year-old has run several fine races around course and distance successes in Listed company and the Renaissance Stakes.
His fourth and fifth in successive renewals of the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot represent good form.
Speak In Colours was also fourth over 7f in events at Glorious Goodwood and York’s Ebor Festival last summer. He then ran a fine third in the Prix de la Foret on Arc Weekend at Longchamp behind One Master.
As Speak In Colours reversed that form at Royal Ascot last time out, he has to be taken seriously here. He was only three lengths behind the winner, Hello Youmzain.
On last year’s Greenlands Stakes run, there is nothing to fear from re-opposing duo Chessman and Smash Williams. Speak In Colours thus gets our vote here.