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Pleascach to go to Royal Ascot





Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach will go to Royal Ascot next week en route to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the end of the month after being snapped up by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin.

Godolphin's extremely busy policy of snapping up top-class horses has been more than noticeable this year and they struck again for the Bolger home-bred who defeated Aidan O'Brien's Found on the way to winning the Irish Classic at the Curragh last month.

A supplemented entry for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, that did appear to be her next run but she is now likely to be in action in the famous blue silks for the first time next week, according to Sheikh Mohammed's racing advisor John Ferguson.

"Jim is keen for the filly to run at Royal Ascot, with the Irish Derby and the Irish Oaks both being targets in the future.

"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed believes when buying young Classic fillies, you look at them as a 10-year plan rather than just as a racehorse, and with the stallions that we now have at our disposal, the future is exciting."

Pleascach, which means 'explosive' in Irish, is now more than likely to step up to the Irish Derby trip of a mile and a half for Thursday's Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes for which she is likely to be a short priced favourite.

Meanwhile, it is a Godolphin colt that is set to head Mick Halford's attack on Royal Ascot next week with the Kildare-based trainer hoping to have five runners at the meeting including Toscanini.

Toscanini, who was second to none other than Gleneagles in the National Stakes last year, has already won this season at Navan and was a respectable third behind Anthem Alexander at Naas last time and Halford is currently mulling over his options for the three-year-old.

"I will probably have five for Royal Ascot," he said. "Asbury Boss is in the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday, Hasanour will go for the Royal Hunt Cup if he gets in, while Toscanini could go for the Jersey or the Commonwealth Cup. Portage is in the Britannia, and Tonkinese is in the Chesham."

Halford also had hoped to run exciting filly Raydara who herself has some very good juvenile form but she failed to fire in the Irish 1,000 Guineas last month and plans for her are on hold at the moment.

"Raydara will not be going to Ascot. She is just not right and won't be going anywhere for the moment," he added.