Hail Caesar fancied to take control at Downpatrick
The firmer ground should give Hail Caesar the edge in the Aiming To Succeed Novice Hurdle at Downpatrick this afternoon.
Ted Walsh's charge palpably struggled to cope with rain-softened ground when odds-on for a similar contest at Roscommon a fortnight ago and can recoup some of those losses by outpacing the busy Imperial Shabra.
The fast ground should also play to the strengths of Boragh Princess, Watermelon, Excellent As Usual and McSwynes Bay, all of which ran second last time out.
The first race of today’s seven-race card at Downpatrick is at 2.35pm.
Aidan O'Brien made it two from two in Ireland's top-level juvenile races this season as Misty For Me added yesterday's Moyglare Stud Stakes to the Phoenix Stakes taken by her stablemate Zoffany three weeks earlier.
In both Curragh contests a hot-shot from the Richard Hannon stable was eclipsed, even-money Memory in the filly's case and |4-9 Strong Suit in the colt's.
Misty For Me, at 10-1, was not only not favourite yesterday, she was not even the best-fancied of the Ballydoyle quartet challenging for the Group 1 prize — that was 4-1 chance Together, Johnny Murtagh's choice.
And afterwards Seamie Heffernan, on the winner, admitted she would have been his, too.
“Aidan said to let mine stride and make it a proper test,” he said. “But Together always works the better filly at home. Misty can be a bit idle.”
There was no laziness from Misty For Me on the track, though. The white-blazed bay, a daughter of Galileo, led throughout the seven furlongs and stayed on determinedly to repel the late challenge of Laughing Lashes, her conqueror last time out, by a length. Kissable finished well in third, a neck behind, just in front of Together.
“The Galileos just never give up,” said O'Brien. “Even when she got headed here the last day she was coming back at the end, and she'd come forward from that run. She stayed on well today — she's already crying out for a mile.”
The Fillies' Mile at Ascot has now been pencilled in for Misty For Me. There she may meet Theyskens' Theory, who has supplanted Memory as the new 1,000 Guineas favourite.