Curvy at Curragh
First venture into Group One company can yield success for Wachman's filly
Classic action returns to the Curragh tomorrow evening with the hotly contested Darley Irish Oaks and while it has been a race that has gone for export 20 times in 30 years it looks like staying at home for 2015.
Aidan O'Brien has his usual strong squad for an Irish Classic and he'll go into tomorrow's race with four runners looking to give him a fifth triumph in the race and among them is an Epsom Oaks winner in Qualify.
However, the bookmakers have installed David Wachman's filly Curvy as the 7/4 favourite for the race and despite the fact that she is testing new ground as she steps up to Group One level for the first time, the daughter of Galileo is selected to oblige.
Curvy has progressed beyond all expectations from winning at Navan at the beginning of the season off a mark of just 72 and what a price she was at 5/1 on that occasion.
Her progression even led connections to toy with the idea of including her in the Irish Derby as she earned a free entry to the race for beating Giovanni Canaletto in the Gallinule Stakes but instead she was given more time after her Ribblesdale Stakes win at Royal Ascot and now goes into tomorrow's race a worthy favourite.
Trainer David Wachman has enjoyed a fantastic season thus far with Curvy and English 1,000 Guineas winner Legatissimo flying the flag for his stable and it is fantastic to see Wayne Lordan get the opportunity on a big occasion and when it comes to the business end of tomorrow's feature, Curvy certainly won't be lacking from the saddle and that is for sure.
Joseph O'Brien as opted to ride Words of the Aidan O'Brien quartet but she is clearly a filly that is highly thought of around Ballydoyle. Two from two in her career so far, she beat Carla Bianca to win the Munster Oaks and is half the price of her stable companion Qualify who is already a Classic winner.
Michael Hussey gets a big race opportunity for O'Brien on Kissed By Angels and while she may struggle to reward each-way punters, it might be no harm to have a little each way bet on her as she has only had three-runs and is out of a dual Group One winning mare and O'Brien obviously feels that the step up to a mile and a half is going to bring about some improvement and while she is possibly just not good enough, she is certainly unexposed and worth another look.
Elsewhere, it'll be exciting to see the two-year-olds do battle in the Jebel Ali Racecourse & Stables Anglesey Stakes. Final Frontier is a course and distance winner and looked the real deal in doing so but recent Naas winner Queen Of Sicily justified plenty of pre-race chat just over a week ago and is just given the nod for trainer Jim Bolger.
Trainer Tom Hogan was certainly fairly bullish about how well his stable star Gordon Lord Byron is at the moment and if he is going to take Royal Ascot and July Cup winner Muhaarar later in the season he would have to back up his win here on Irish Derby weekend.