The Curragh preview: Cadillac out to hit top gear for Jessica Harrington

Fri 21 Aug 2020

Jessica Harrington’s exciting juvenile Cadillac will bid to double his career tally and remain unbeaten in the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

Cadillac was a wide-margin winner on his only appearance to date, taking a maiden at Leopardstown by nine lengths at the start of last month.

A follow-up run at the same track was vetoed because of firm ground, something the colt is unlikely to encounter this weekend.

Watch how Cadillac won on his debut

“He’s in great form, he’s doing very well,” Harrington said as she fine-tunes preparations for the Group Two contest.

“The only reason I didn’t run him at Leopardstown was because the ground was very quick that day. I took him out then, but he has been in great form since, and we’re hoping for a big run from him.”

Harrington also has another promising two-year-old on the same card, with Palifico set to run in the Group Two ARM Holding Debutante Stakes.

The filly was beaten just a neck by on her racecourse debut in June, and was subsequently placed again when finishing third in a similar maiden contest a month later.

Harrington, who won the Debutante Stakes last season with the top-quality filly Alpine Star, thinks her representative this time could be better than her form suggests.

“I am hoping she will run well,” she said. “I know she is still a maiden, but she’s gone very well in two solid races so far.”

Palifico would not relish very testing conditions, however, and Harrington is therefore hoping the soft ground does not become heavy.

“I would really like it not to rain much more, if possible. She wouldn’t like that.”

Harrington also confirmed Alpine Star is faring well after her gallant effort in defeat behind Palace Pier in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

The filly went down by just three-quarters of a length when taking on colts for the first time in Group One company.

“Alpine Star is grand after her race,” said her trainer. “She’s well, she’s in very good form. I was delighted with her, absolutely delighted with her. I really was.”

Meanwhile, Denis Hogan is plotting a path via Saturday’s Curragh Sprint Stakes for his consistent gelding Make A Challenge.

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The five-year-old is due to line up in the Listed six-furlong contest as he prepares for future Group One engagements.

Twice a winner this season after clocking up six successes last term, the son of Invincible Spirit was last seen coming home just a length behind A’Ali in the Group Two Holden Plant Rentals Sapphire Stakes.

Hogan now has his eye on a handful of top-flight sprints and is hoping this weekend’s run will serve as the perfect preparation.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he said.

“He’s just had a freshen up since his last run, I suppose we’re aiming for the Flying Five at the Curragh on Champions Weekend, on September 13.

“These are all stepping stones for there really. Speak In Colours will be hard to beat, but he’s beaten him this season already. We’re not expecting to just turn up and win or anything, but we think it’ll bring him on for the Flying Five.

“He’ll love conditions and every bit of rain that falls is good for us. He’s in good nick, he’s drawn in the middle and should really accelerate.”

Make A Challenge is entered for the Listed Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on August 27, with the Prix de l’Abbaye also under consideration.

“He has an entry at Tipperary next Thursday,” Hogan said.

“So we’ll see about that. He has an entry in the Abbaye as well, we’re definitely going for the Flying Five but he does have an entry in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

“We’ll look at that race afterwards, but they’re the two targets we have for him so hopefully he’ll get there in one piece. We don’t work him much at home, he does most of his work on the Curragh in his races.

“It’s all good prep for the big one really (the Flying Five).”

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