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Rain storming for Oaks double

William Haggas is keen to see if Dancing Rain can follow up her victory in the Oaks at Epsom with success in the Darley-sponsored Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Sunday.

Many believed the filly benefited from a fantastic front-running ride from Johnny Murtagh last month and that those behind were at a disadvantage, so much so that the runner-up at Epsom, Aidan O'Brien's Wonder Of Wonders, is an odds-on favourite to turn the tables.

Haggas said: "We'll see whether it was just a fantastic ride by Johnny (Murtagh) at Epsom or if she was good enough to win. She just needs a good gallop, that's all. She's a long-striding filly and is a lengthener, rather than a quickener, and needs a gallop."

He added: "If there is no gallop she'll have to make it (the running). She seems to have come on since Epsom and, at the moment, we feel she is in good shape.

"She ran well as a two-year-old on soft and she obviously goes well on fast. I think that she is such a fluent mover that fast ground will be ideal, but we can't do anything about the weather."

Dancing Rain and Wonder Of Wonders are among a final field of nine to have been declared. O'Brien has also confirmed Gemstone and Amazing Beauty, but has taken out impressive Pretty Polly winner Misty For Me, who also claimed the Irish 1000 Guineas.

Jim Bolger runs Ribblesdale winner Banimpire and Hurricane Havoc, while Godolphin also have two representatives - 1000 Guineas winner Blue Bunting and the supplemented Rumh.

Jessica Harrington steps Laughing Lashes up half a mile in trip, but believes the American-bred filly will be suited by the stamina test.

She said: "She ran really well and was staying on in the Irish 1000. The plan was always to go straight for the Oaks after that. She's a very big filly and that's why she hasn't had much racing this year, with a view of her hopefully staying well and having a nice autumn campaign. She's in great form."


From Belfast Telegraph