PUTTING IRISH SPIN ON THE PARK HILL: Shamrock analyses the Irish challenge for the fillies’ St Leger, the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster tomorrow, when runners for Dermot Weld, John Joseph Murphy and, of course, Aidan O’Brien make up nearly half the field.
Treble chance! Since the English St Leger has lured the top fillies on Saturday, the traditional Doncaster fillies’ ‘Leger’, tomorrow’s Park Hill Stakes, is now up for grabs. And Ireland has three of the seven declared.
Ballydoyle, tilting at Sea Moon in the Leger with Wonder Of Wonders, has Spin claiming the three-year-olds allowance of a massive 12lb from the likely Park Hill favourite, Meeznah, remembered over here for her fourth in our Curragh Oaks, after being disqualified from runner-up spot behind Snow Fairy in the English version.
Ballydoyle’s Spin, yet another Galileo, ran Banimpire close in the Blue Wind at Naas at the start of the season, a performance which looked better and better in retrospect as the winner went on to a Group-1 near miss, short-headed in our Oaks by one of the leading Leger contenders, Blue Bunting.
But Spin herself has struggled in the Pattern, failing even to land a Listed at Galway, trying to make all but run out of it by a revitalised Zanughan.
Cork trainer John Joseph Murphy thinks his handicapper Goldplated – four wins out of five but rated only 91 – will be good enough and the daughter of Selkirk would no doubt benefit from some rain today, leading into Thursday’s contest.
Our third runner, Dermot Weld’s Sense Of Purpose, has collateral form with Spin, since the four-year-old was beaten three lengths, trying to give Banimpire 11lb – more than weight for age – in the Group-3 Noblesse at Cork.
Sense Of Purpose finally picked up a Group 3 when winning last month’s Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown when she beat a hot three-year-old favourite, Ballydoyle’s Marksmanship.
So she can beat the second-season fillies and she can beat Ballydoyle, but that Banimpire line suggests that Spin is the one, if she can bounce back, held off the pace this time stepping up to 14f.
There’s nothing in the breeding to say she can but there’s clearly something ticking in the brain of Aidan O’Brien that says she will.
NAP: Albaspina (3.20 Carlisle)
NEXT BEST: Captain Dunne (3.10 Doncaster)
OUTSIDER: Regal Acclaim (2.10 Carlisle)
DAQ TRIO: Snow Blizzard (2.20 Uttoxeter), Captain Dunne (3.10 Doncaster), Albaspina (3.20 Carlisle)