Sunday’s Group Three Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes at the Curragh has attracted a strong entry of 19 runners and the race may well include the Aidan O’Brien trained Dick Whittington who was a Group One winner at the Curragh last season when winning the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes in good style from Richard Hannon’s Kool Kompany.
O’Brien is responsible for four of the 19-entries left in the race on Tuesday afternoon which also features last year’s winner Sruthan, Sabrina Harty’s Ansgar, and British trained runners Cable Bay, Sovereign Debt and That Is The Spirit.
Sruthan will attempt to win the race for a second year in a row according to his trainer Paul Deegan; “It was always the plan to start him back off in the Gladness Stakes and he did a little piece of work Tuesday morning and went brilliant so I’m delighted with him and he looks like he has improved over the winter so I couldn’t be happier with him.”
The Dandy Nicholls trained Sovereign Debt was a shade unlucky when only going down by a neck in the Ladbrokes Mile in the All-Weather Championships final at Lingfield on Good Friday and the six-year-old is likely to take his chance if the Curragh if the ground continues to dry out according to Nicholls.
Yorkshire Oaks winner Tapestry is another leading name that could be on show at the Curragh on Sunday when the daughter of Galileo gets her season underway in the Alleged Stakes over 10-furlongs.
The Aidan O’Brien trained four-year-old is one of 13 in the listed contest which also features the recent Cork winner Massinga who will bid to continue the brilliant run of form for Dermot Weld, while Jim Bolger’s Parish Hall is also among the possible runners and the Irish Lincolnshire runner-up Aussie Valentine is an intended runner according to Paul Deegan following the horses win at Leopardstown last weekend.
The Clongowes Wood College Bicentenary Handicap has attracted 14 entries, while the Dermot Weld trained Good Tradition heads the entries in the Cunninghams of Kildare Handicap
Racing on Sunday gets underway at 2.20pm with a two-year-old maiden that is likely to see some very interesting newcomers line up and racecourse manager Paul Hensey is hopeful that ground conditions will improve ahead of the tracks second meeting of the season.
Hensey said; “We had 15.6mm of rain over the weekend here at the Curragh so the ground is now soft to heavy on the straight course and soft on the round. There is to be little or no rain this week and the temperature is to pick up as the week goes on so I would expect some improvement in the ground every day as the week goes on.”
Admission 15 euro, Under 25s & Seniors 8 euro, Under 16s free. Free car parking. Trains to Kildare Town with free shuttle to racecourse, Dublin Coach provide race day service (see dublincoach.ie)
Tickets and Dining packages available on www.curragh.ie