Curragh Sunday: September Won’t be far Away4 min read
Ryan Moore may be aboard stablemate Magical, but Albany winner September is the real star of the show at the Curragh on Sunday
2:20 Victoria Racing Club Trophy Nursery Handicap 6f
Jim Bolger won this race in the colours of wife Jackie in 2010 with Suntan, but that hasn’t been the family’s only success in the contest, with the irrepressible Brendan Duke scoring with Intenser and Leath Na Hoibre in 2014 and 2015, both of whom sported the famous white and purple silks. Bolger saddles Cuban Surfer this time around, and the bottom-weight looks open to progress now moving into handicap company. She was a good third on debut at Cork in May, and was an eyecatcher at Gowran last month when she didn’t get a clear run behind Hillwalker. She was also the stable second string there, and is expected to get back on track off what looks a fair mark.
2:55 Sapphire Stakes (Group 2) 5f
Caspian Prince took the notable scalp of Marsha in this contest last year, and he’s rediscovered all his old spark having settled in to the Mick Appleby routine this year. He was runner-up off a mark of 114 in the Rockingham Handicap here last time, and that represented a career-best performance at the age of nine. He will again look to blitz his rivals for early speed, and that could see Washington DC taken off his feet. Should the veteran go too fast, that could let the O’Brien runner in, but he’s a very experienced front runner who doesn’t take much rating, and he is expected to get the better of that rival. A much more potent danger is the progressive Mabs Cross, and Michael Dods’s filly ran the race of her life to be third in the King’s Stand behind a blistering pace set by Battaash, and Washington DC was only eighth at Ascot. She will revel in tracking Caspian Prince at a fast pace, and her Ascot run was a belter on the clock, so she gets the vote in a race which should be dominated by British raiders.
3:30 Kilboy Estate Stakes (Group 2) 1m 1f
September may have been abandoned by Ryan Moore, but last year’s star juvenile is still the one they have to aim at, and may even represent some value having had her return to action delayed by a muscle problem. It was thought in some quarters that she could line up in the Irish Oaks, and the fact that Aidan O’Brien was considering that option until the last moment is encouraging in terms of her readiness for battle. She was unlucky not to beat Laurens in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, and is bred to improve with time and distance, so the step up to nine furlongs looks ideal. Her dam progressed enormously in the summer of her three-year-old campaign, and September could very well produce further improvement this year.