Was: seeking a first win since her victory in last year's OaksPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Hopes high Alive can continue progress
ALIVE ALIVE OH, a late withdrawal when favourite for the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot due to the fast ground, bids to take her season to a new level in the Oxigen Environmental-sponsored Pretty Polly Sakes at the Curragh today, which was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2004.
Her trainer Tommy Stack has enjoyed top-level success at the Curragh with Tarascon, who won the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Irish 1,000 Guineas, while two other fillies - Kostroma and Alexander Tango - won Grade 1s for him in the US.
Hopes are high that Alive Alive Oh, who is owned by Sue-Ann Foley, daughter of JP McManus, will build on the big impression she created when trouncing her rivals by six lengths in the Listed Salsabil Stakes at Navan last month.
A daughter of Duke Of Marmalade, Alive Alive Oh is entered for next month's Darley Irish Oaks and Fozzy Stack, assistant to his father, said yesterday: "She's been in good form since her trip to Ascot and we were happy with the way she worked during the week.
"The ground was just too quick at Ascot and that's why she didn't run. The bit of rain we've had today is welcome as we didn't want the ground getting any quicker."
Was and La Collina are the only Group 1 winners in the line-up, with Was seeking a first win since her victory in last year's Oaks at Epsom.
Her trainer Aidan O'Brien said yesterday: "We were pleased with her first run of the season in a Group 3 over a mile. We've been happy with her since. Going back up in trip will suit and the ground should be fine for her."
Leading the raiding party is Shirocco Star, one of the most unlucky horses of last year when she finished second five times in seven starts, including in the Oaks at Epsom and the Curragh. She was a non-runner in the Warwickshire Oaks this month due to unsuitable ground.
Trainer Hughie Morrison said: “She’s travelled over well and I’ve been pleased with her work recently. I’m hoping the ground isn’t too quick but we’ll definitely run. The Curragh is a bit different compared to Warwick, where there is a sharper bend, so we’ll let her go.
“She has always shown pace but if this is the wrong plan we can always take her back to a mile and a half.”
Today's key stat
Baccalaureate's record in 2m hurdle races on going that does not
contain the word 'soft' or 'heavy' is 181111 and backing him on all
such starts would have returned a profit of £16.73 to £1 stakes. He
goes in the 2m handicap at Uttoxeter at 3.10.
Courtesy of Raceform Interactive
Curragh Good to firm. Round course watered overnight.
Salisbury Straight - Good, good to firm in places
Loop - Good to firm
Uttoxeter Good, good to firm in places
Windsor good to firm, good in places