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Saturday 3 December 2016

Iveagh Gardens in need of some give to bloom

Iveagh Gardens ridden by Niall McCullagh (right) on the way to winning the Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes at Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare, Ireland on Monday (Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Iveagh Gardens ridden by Niall McCullagh (right) on the way to winning the Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes at Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare, Ireland on Monday (Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Iveagh Gardens is unlikely to take her chance in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes unless there is a dramatic change to conditions at Leopardstown on Saturday.

She looked a horse to follow when springing a 25-1 surprise on heavy ground in the Group Three Athasi Stakes at Leopardstown in May, winning by two lengths from Found.

While Found has gone on to boost the form by finishing second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, as well as landing a Group Three success of her own, Iveagh Gardens has not yet reappeared.

The Charles O'Brien-trained filly needs plenty of give in the ground and but the going at the Dublin venue yesterday ahead of this weekend's showpiece fixture was described as good to firm on the outside track and good to firm, good in places on the inside track.

"She's very ground dependent, so at the minute she'd be very doubtful," said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus.

firm

"Charles is happy with her, but the ground is good to firm at the minute at Leopardstown.

"There is some rain due, but I doubt if there will be enough."

Marco Botti is expecting a big performance from Euro Charline in the same Group One event.

The Team Valor-owned four-year-old made a valiant bid for top-level glory in America last month, leading for much of the way in the Beverly D. Stakes before finishing a close fourth in what was to prove a dramatic finish.

Connections hope to have Frankie Dettori in the saddle for the first time, as she renews rivalry with Amazing Maria, who had the Botti runner in second when winning the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July.

Botti said: "The plan is to run the filly on Saturday and we have asked Frankie to ride her and assuming he is available that is the plan."

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