Catch The Star In Kildare

Star Catcher winning at Royal Ascot | Racing Post


The Frankie Dettori show, which diverted to Killarney midweek, moves on to The Curragh on Saturday with 'TDN Rising Star' Star Catcher (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) the key actress in the G1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks. Untried in Classic company unlike some of her contemporaries, Anthony Oppenheimer's homebred proved her quality with a defeat of the G1 Epsom Oaks third Fleeting (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) in a strong renewal of the G2 Ribblesdale S. at Royal Ascot June 20. Staying on powerfully at the end of her first try at a mile and a half, the half-sister to the GI Canadian International hero Cannock Chase (Lemon Drop Kid) is poised to take on the Irish fillies on their home soil. “Star Catcher seems in good form, but she's got to take on the very best now,” Dettori said. “Her home work has always been good and Ascot wasn't a surprise to us, because she has taken a good step forward every time she ran. She'll have to do that again to feature in the finish on Saturday, but at the moment all the home work has been very good and I can't wait to get back to the Curragh again.” The re-opposing Fleeting is joined by fellow Ballydoyle representative Pink Dogwood (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), who was a neck behind Star Catcher's stablemate Anapurna (GB) (Frankel {GB}) when second in the May 31 G1 Epsom Oaks and was the hot 11-10 favourite coming here for the G1 Pretty Polly S. last time. In the event, she was no match for the impressive winner Iridessa (Ire) (Ruler of the World {Ire}) when third in that June 28 10-furlong test and looked in need of this trip. “I thought Pink Dogwood ran very well the last day in the Pretty Polly, but she is going back up in trip again,” commented Aidan O'Brien, who is looking for a sixth renewal. “Fleeting seems to be fine since Ascot and everyone is happy with her.”

Fourth at Epsom was Waverley Racing's Manuela de Vega (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), who arrives here a fresh filly with Ralph Beckett's stable jockey Harry Bentley on board. The same connections' Antonia de Vega (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) beat the subsequent Listed Prix Thiberville winner Star Terms (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) by four lengths in the Listed Abingdon S. over 10 furlongs at Newbury June 13. Sea of Class (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) took that race en route to victory here 12 months ago and it would be no surprise if she emulates her as she is a still-unexposed filly who could be top-class.

“Both fillies are in good form and the drop of rain they're getting will help,” Beckett said. “Their recent work has been up to scratch and they are going into the race in good shape. Manuela De Vega would look the one at this stage, but it might be a different story come Saturday night. On the evidence we've seen so far, I think Harry has chosen right but my record at predicting these things is not the best. I'm much happier with Antonia De Vega now than I was going to Newbury, so we'll see.”

The Curragh's card also sees 'TDN Rising Star' Pistoletto (War Front) come back after a short break in the G3 Jebel Ali Racecourse and Stables Anglesey S. Two-for-two over five furlongs at Tipperary Apr. 25 and Naas May 19, the brother to the high-class Avenge injured himself in the stalls before the latter hard-fought success so remains an exciting prospect. Fellow Ballydoyle runner Mount Fuji (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) never threatened in the G2 Norfolk S. over five at Royal Ascot June 20 and is bound to appreciate this extra furlong and 63 yards as he bolsters the stable challenge for a 12th renewal.

Mick Halford saddles Sammy Hon Kit Ma's June 28 course maiden winner Roman Turbo (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) and he said, “He was running at the Curragh on Derby weekend, so we didn't necessarily think he'd win first time up but he had been pleasing us. He's a nice horse and he's gone the right way since.”

Following the Anglesey is the G2 Paddy Power Minstrel S. over seven furlongs and Frankie has sound claims of the ideal Irish Oaks warm-up on Sultan Ali's Hey Gaman (GB) (New Approach {Ire}). Flawless so far in 2019, the imposing 4-year-old enters off wins in the Apr. 27 Listed King Richard III S. at Leicester and the G3 Prix du Palais-Royal at ParisLongchamp May 30 and trainer James Tate is hopeful he can continue the trajectory. “He's in great form this season and the Curragh is pretty straight with a right-handed dog leg which I think will really suit,” he said. “I don't think ground bothers him now he's four. He's won on soft and good-to-firm and it looks like it will be roughly good from what I can read into the situation.”

Joining Hey Gaman from Britain is Ross Harmon's June 8 G3 John of Gaunt S. winner Safe Voyage (Ire) (Fast Company {Ire}), who is also unbeaten this term with all starts having come at Haydock. “I'm very happy with him–it's another step up, but he's in very good form and we're hoping for a big run,” trainer John Quinn commented. “The forecast has come in his favour, he will need the rain, but there is quite a bit forecast through Friday so as long as it's good ground or easier he'll run.”

Newbury's fixture kicks off with an intriguing edition of the Listed bet365 Steventon S. in which the 3-year-old colts Fox Chairman (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) and Pondus (GB) (Sea the Moon {Ger}) go head-to-head. The former was runner-up to Sangarius (GB) (Kingman {GB}) in the G3 Hampton Court S. at Royal Ascot June 20, while Pondus was only sixth in the G2 King Edward VII S. at that meeting a day later. Trainer James Fanshawe is hoping Hubert Strecker's Pondus can get back in the swing, having looked c colt with a bright future when winning novice contests over this 10-furlong trip at Nottingham May 10 and Sandown May 30. “He was a little bit keen at Ascot and didn't get home, but before then he was very progressive over a mile and a quarter,” he said. “We're dropping him back to that distance and he seems in good form.” Fox Chairman's trainer Andrew Balding said, “We're really happy with him. He ran well at Ascot and has been in good form. I think James Fanshawe's horse has got lots of untapped potential as well, so it will be an interesting race.”

Fanshawe is also looking to stable stalwart The Tin Man (GB) (Equiano {Fr}) to fly the flag in the G3 bet365 Hackwood S. which the 7-year-old captured three years ago. Sixth in the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. at Royal Ascot last time June 22, last year's G1 Haydock Sprint Cup winner needs a confidence boost. “We're coming back in class a little bit and will see how we get on,” his trainer said. “He ran very well at Ascot. It's the first time he gets in a group three without a penalty this year, so we decided to go this route.”

First and second in the Listed Carnarvon S. over this course and distance on the Lockinge card May 18, Khaadem (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Oxted (GB) (Mayson {GB}) re-oppose in the Hackwood with the former on a salvage mission having finished seventh in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot June 21. Trainer Charlie Hills is expecting better from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's 3-year-old and said, “I think he was a little bit under the weather last time at Ascot, but we've been pleased with him the last couple of weeks. I don't think he'll mind the the rain.” In the Weatherbys Super Sprint, the June 20 G2 Norfolk S. runner-up Ventura Rebel (GB) (Pastoral Pursuits {GB}) will be a warm order in the valuable prize while Newmarket's key race is the Listed Aphrodite Fillies' S. in which Kin Hung Kei, Qatar Racing and Laurent Dassault's 'TDN Rising Star' Sparkle Roll (Fr) (Kingman {GB}) sets the standard after her third placing in the Ribblesdale.


Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. €375,000 Goffs Orby Son of Sea The Stars Surges to TDN Rising Stardom at The Curragh
  2. Not This Time's Cut The Dust Sparkles on Debut, New 'Rising Star' at Woodbine
  3. 'Rising Star' Mindframe The One To Beat In the Haskell
  4. 'He Could Be A Cox Plate Horse': Frankel's Diego Velazquez Dominates the Meld
  5. Qatar Racing Privately Acquires 50 Percent Share In Gabaldon After Inglis Digital USA July Sale

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.