Banimpire and Bible Belt to clash in Blandford Stakes at Curragh this Sunday
The Jim Bolger-trained Banimpire, already the winner of six stakes races this season, heads the sixteen entries for the Group 2 thetote.com Blandford Stakes, highlight of Sunday’s card at the Curragh starting at 2.10pm.
Pipped in the Darley Irish Oaks in July, Banimpire last raced when finishing fifth to Blue Bunting in the Yorkshire Oaks.
Leading the opposition to Jim Bolger’s filly will be the progressive, Jessica Harrington-trained Bible Belt, winner of the recent Dance Design Stakes (Group 3) while Aidan O’Brien’s Wonder Of Wonders, third in both the Darley Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks, is also among the entries, together with a strong British trained team including Eleanora Duse, Beatrice Aurore and Sea of Heartbreak.
Entries for the Group 3 Woodies DIY Supporting Autism Solonaway Stakes over a mile include the Aidan O’Brien-trained Zoffany, unplaced in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last time but a creditable second in Group 1 company earlier, to Frankel in the St.James’s Palace Stakes and to Mutual Trust in the Prix Jean Prat. Cityscape is set to represent British based trainer Roger Charlton.
Bewitched, which was having her first run since June when eighth to Dream Ahead in the Betfred Sprint Cup (Group 1) at Haydock Park last week, features among the entries for the Group 3 thetote.com, Renaissance Stakes. A strong British trained challenger includes Bajan Tryst, Definightly and Monsieur Chevalier.
Sunday’s card, which will have a family race day theme, also includes the listed Flame Of Tara Stakes, the target for Dermot Weld’s Yellow Rosebud, a debut winner at Leopardstown before chasing home Maybe in the Group 2 Keeneland Debutante Stakes last time.
Saturday’s top class programme features The Irish Field St Leger and Goffs National Stakes. To coincide with day there will be a major Australian theme to promote The Irish Field St Leger as Europe’s premier trial race for the Emirates Melbourne Cup with the chance for one lucky racegoer to win a trip of a lifetime to “the race that stops a nation”. The iconic Melbourne Cup will be brought over from Australia to be displayed on the day, while Vintage Crop and Bruce Davis, Australian Ambassador to Ireland, will be guests of honour, a special Australian wine promotion featuring the world famous Wakefield Wines will take place, while there will be free entry for Australian citizens Members of the Irish Australian Rules football team who recently won the World Aussi Rules Championship will be in attendance. Irish tennis star Conor Niland will be one of the judges for the Bollinger Best Hat competition in association with the Heritage Golf & Spa Resort.
Admission Sat: €20, Under 25s and Seniors €10; Sun: €15, Under 25s & Seniors €8, Children free on both days