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Mollyanna's Royal bid for more success after Sligo win

By Frank Brownlow

Published 28/05/2015

Take-off: Gleneagles (left) storms to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh
Take-off: Gleneagles (left) storms to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh

Down Royal may not have the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall available to hand out the prizes, but that won't hinder Mollyanna in the quest for yet more success.

Charles and Camilla were on hand to make the presentation when Mollyanna won at Sligo last Wednesday.

And the Colin Bowe runner has every chance of repeating that success in the featured Barclay Communications Mares Beginners Chase tomorrow night at Down Royal.

Mollyanna is making the long trek up from Wexford and will face plenty of local challengers.

Larne's Stuart Crawford has Ceithre Delta coming off a second place finish at Perth and Killinchy's Aaron Stronge has the reliable Shershewill, while Newry's Liam Lennon is looking for Waltz Legend to upgrade from a third at Downpatrick earlier this month.

An intriguing seven-race card gets under way at 5.40pm on what is a massive day for Ulster sport, with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open golf taking place down the road at Royal County Down in Newcastle.

A host of big names have been entered for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 12.

John Gosden has put in his two Investec Derby contenders Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs, while another leading Epsom hope features in the shape of the Andrew Balding-trained Elm Park.

Lockinge Stakes winner Night Of Thunder adds to the British challenge, as do St Leger winner Kingston Hill and last year's winner The Grey Gatsby.

Dual Guineas hero Gleneagles heads a strong Aidan O'Brien challenge, as the Ballydoyle trainer bids to add to his record haul of seven victories in the race. Dermot Weld has put in his Epsom Derby hope Zawraq, along with Free Eagle.

Other notable Irish entries include David Wachman's Newmarket Guineas heroine Legatissimo, Jim Bolger's Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach and Ken Condon's Success Days, as well as Ger Lyons' Irish 2,000 Guineas second Endless Drama.

Seven Japanese entries feature, headed by Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, the second highest-rated horse in the world last year, and Japan Derby winner One And Only.

Australian-trained three-time Group One winner Criterion is also in the mix.

Popular gelding Cirrus Des Aigles and Karakontie, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November, stand out among an entry of six from France.

Leopardstown chief executive Pat Keogh said: "We are delighted to see so many top-quality horses entered this year and it is particularly pleasing to see the international spread of entries."

Belfast Telegraph

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