Sruthan primed for title defence
Paul Deegan is confident Sruthan can make it back-to-back victories in the Group Three Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes at the Curragh.
The five-year-old gelding, rated 111, has been on a break since October but is primed for his first assignment of the season.
"He's very well and he did particularly well over the winter. He has strengthened up a bit. He's really, really good and he's ready to get started. I'm hopeful of a big run," said the trainer.
"He's a genuine soft-ground horse - he's a much better horse on it. On paper it looks a hotter race than last year. He will probably go for the Amethyst Stakes next, but he's ground dependent. There are loads of seven-furlong to a mile races for him all year."
Aidan O'Brien has a strong hand as he runs Due Diligence and bottom-weight Smuggler's Cove. The former is the highest rated of the 11 runners on 116 while the latter gets the three-year-old allowance.
The 62,500 euro pot has also attracted English raiders in the shape of Dandy Nicholls' Sovereign Debt and Cable Bay, who represents Charles Hills. David O'Meara sends over That Is The Spirit.
Shanghai Beauty and Penny Pepper have the form in the book for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Fillies) Maiden over six furlongs and both are bidding to improve on a runner-up finish last-time out.
Deegan's Papa's Way faces a stern challenge from Stronger Than Me and Princess Pearlita in the Clongowes Wood College Bicentenary Handicap.
Ado McGuinness fires two bullets at the six-furlong handicap in Oor Jock and Beau Satchel, both of whom were placed in their previous outings. Recent winners Elusive In Paris and Cash Or Casualty also run.
The seven-race card opens with an interesting five-furlong maiden in which there are several beautifully bred horses including the O'Brien-trained Zoffany colt Waterloo Bridge and Jim Bolger's daughter of Invincible Spirit, Mimicking, as well as Hoppala, an Acclamation gelding from the Weld camp.