Gabriel tests mettle in Platinum
Talented filly Avenue Gabriel looks to get her season back on track in the Platinum Stakes at Cork on Tuesday.
Paul Deegan's four-year-old has won twice at Listed level and been placed a couple of times in Pattern company in the past two seasons, but her recent form has been uninspiring.
She finished tailed off in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas in May and was never a factor when returning from a two-month break in last month's Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh.
Deegan feels she is ready to show her true worth back in Listed company, however.
He said: "It's a slightly easier race for her and she's in very good form.
"Her last run was her first run after having a wind operation and her first run after a break, so we were fairly happy.
"She should improve a good bit for that and we'll see how she goes.
"There are no easy options in races like this and, as always, if she can run well and run into the money we'll be happy."
Avenue Gabriel is set to face eight rivals in the one-mile contest, including a couple of unexposed three-year-olds in John Oxx's Navan winner In My Pocket and the Dermot Weld-trained runaway Curragh scorer Eshera.
The evening fixtures gets under way with the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden, in which John Murphy's Only Mine sets a good standard.
The daughter of Pour Moi was fourth in a red-hot maiden behind Rockaway Valley on her racecourse debut and was only narrowly beaten in the Group Three Grangecon Stud Stakes next time.
Back in maiden company, she is certainly the one to beat.
David Wachman has his string firing on all cylinders and the application of blinkers could help Booker open her account for the campaign in the ITBA Working For Southern Regional Breeders European Breeders Fund Fillies Handicap.