Raymonda heads Dermot Weld duo as trainer seeks fourth Fairy Bridge success

Wed 30 Aug 2017

Dermot Weld is double-handed as he bids to win the Coolmore Stud Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary for the fourth successive year.

The master of Rosewell House has endured a difficult campaign overall, but has hit form in the last few weeks and looks to have sound claims of adding to his tally in Thursday's Group Three event.

Stable jockey Pat Smullen has sided with the consistent Raymonda over fellow Khalid Abdullah-owned stablemate Tempera (Leigh Roche), who has not been seen in competitive action since shedding her maiden tag at Leopardstown last October.

Smullen said: "The fact the other filly hasn't run for so long is probably the primary reason I've gone with Raymonda. She's a good, solid filly who is race-fit and hopefully she'll run well.

"Tempera has had a long time off and I'm sure she'll be better for the run."

The Roger Varian-trained Realtra returns to Ireland to bid for further big-race honours.

The daughter of Dark Angel was an impressive winner of the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse in early July, beating Raymonda into third place and prompting Varian to return his mare to the highest level in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

She came up short in France, finishing ninth of 10 runners, and drops back in grade under Smullen's title rival Colin Keane.

"She's in very good form and this is probably more her level than the Prix Rothschild, which we chanced our arm in last time," said Varian.

"The ground is a little bit of an unknown - I don't think she'll have run on ground this soft before.

"We'd also have preferred a better draw. I don't know too much about Tipperary, but I believe it's a turning track, so being drawn in stall 12 of 12 isn't ideal.

"We're very happy with her, though, she's a dual Group Three winner and hopefully she'll run very well."

Carrying a penalty for her Fairyhouse success, Realtra must concede weight to each of her 11 rivals in the seven-and-a-half-furlong contest.

The Ed Dunlop-trained Same Jurisdiction is a second British challenger, with Kevin Manning taking the ride.

Other contenders include Aidan O'Brien's Music Box and Drumfad Bay from Jessica Harrington's yard.

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