Potential Classic clues on offer as Dundalk steps in for waterlogged Tipperary
There's nothing new about a good horse losing their maiden status on the all-weather and Qipco 1,000 Guineas entry Alghabrah could be the star turn at Dundalk's meeting, which has been transferred from Tipperary because of waterlogging.
A 40-1 shot for the Newmarket Classic, Alghabrah, who runs in the median auction maiden (6.00), made her debut when second to the well-regarded Contingent at Leopardstown in October.
She is a Tamayuz half-sister to Awtaad, who provided trainer Kevin Prendergast, owner Hamdan Al Maktoum and jockey Chris Hayes with a memorable moment when he won the Irish 2,000 Guineas two years ago.
"She ran very well on her debut," said the sheikh's racing manager Angus Gold. "She was a bit green early, from what I remember, but came home and finished off well. Hopefully she's a nice filly.
"I've just spoken to Kevin Prendergast, who says the ground is so bad and he wants to run her on the all-weather and see. As far as I know she's done well over the winter and Kevin has been very happy with her."
Countdown starts for Cup contender
Count Octave was last seen finishing sixth in the St Leger, form that should make him hard to beat in Wolverhampton's novice stakes (8.15).
The son of Frankel, whose only win came over Tuesday's course and distance, was also a solid second in the Queen's Vase and is entered in next month's Group 2 Yorkshire Cup.
"He was still very weak last year and there's been a noticeable change in him physically," trainer Andrew Balding said in a recent Racing Post stable tour. "He's a decent horse who could develop into a Cup contender."
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