It was a good day for Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan here at the Curragh earlier this week and MADONNA looks to have the right tune to win the opening fillies’ maiden this Friday. The daughter of Galileo finished a good third on debut at Navan in August and returns after a month off following a poor run at Thurles last month.
She should benefit from that break and with previous experience should go close with the Curragh likely to suit her better today. Disco Boots looks the biggest danger having finished second here on Monday for Peter Fahey, while Absolutely and Frill look two of the more interesting newcomers.
This looks a good opportunity for the Sheila Lavery trained MIRAMIS to break her maiden having contested two group races already this season. She must have been shown good ability at home for connections to target the Debutante Stakes on debut and head for the Anglesey Stakes on her second start last month. This doesn’t look the strongest of races on paper and those good efforts with previous course experience and a positive drop back in trip will be good enough to see off this opposition today.
Another maiden at HQ which doesn’t look the strongest on paper with trainer Joseph O’Brien hopefully landing this race for his mother Anne-Marie, with both Herculaneum and MENAGERIE running for the family. Menagerie has enough good runs in the book this season to win here with Mikey Sheehy in the saddle again today.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock has been placed four-times in her five-career starts and returns quickly after finishing third at Naas last Sunday. The small drop in trip should suit better today if again ridden forward and with concerns over the ground for many of her rivals Menagerie can win this race.
Paddy Power day continues at HQ with this one-mile four-furlong maiden looking a match between our selection, LADY DAHLIA and the Dermot Weld trained Ciel D’afrique. The Moyglare runner returns after a break following his Ballybrit second behind Mt Leinster in July, with cheekpieces applied today.
However, Lady Dahila gets the verdict with recent fitness and weight on her side following a third-place finish at Gowran Park last month. The daughter of Australia had previously finished behind stable-mate Pista on debut and contested the listed Oyster Stakes at Galway. That form looks strong enough to break her maiden today with Dylan Browne McMonagle’s five-pound claim a bonus to help secure victory.
James’ tips for the Curragh on Friday
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