Race of The Day Sunday July 01
16:401m2fur (2000m)

Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1)

Curragh

  • Current Favourite  Forever Together
  • Current Odds 1/2
Race Analysis Runners 6 Going Good to Firm Distance 1m2fur (2000m)

Race Overview

One of Ireland’s premier races for fillies and mares, the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes is run in honour of the horse of the same name who was a star performer over a century ago. It was a Group 2 event until 2004 when it was upgraded to the very highest level.

Some outstanding fillies have won the race over the years over the stiff mile-and-a-quarter of the Curragh, with recent heroines including dual winner Alexander Goldrun, Dar Re Mi, Misty For Me,  Izzi Top, Minding, and last year Roger Varian’s Nezwaah. Three and four-year-olds have generally held sway over the last 25 years and five of the six runners this time around fit into that bracket.

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Horse racing Aidan O'Brien

Favourite Forever Together

Aidan O’Brien’s Investec Oaks winner looks sure to start favourite and may well be prohibitive odds with the race having cut up to just six runners. She won over the 12 furlongs at Epsom with plenty of authority and although she has never won at this trip in her short career she is expected to handle the drop back in distance.

HOrse racing - William Haggas

Other Contenders

Bye Bye Baby, third in the Investec Oaks and a stable companion of Forever Together, has eight lengths to find with the favourite but has won before over course and distance. Urban Fox, trained by William Haggas (pictured) is progressive and may improve for this longer trip, while Athena and Turret Rocks are not out of it if running to their very best figures.

Race Analysis

This race very much revolves around whether or not Investec Oaks winner Forever Together will prove as a effective dropping back two furlongs. She became the first maiden in a very long time to win the Oaks, storming to a four-and-a-half length success over Wild Illusion on soft ground. She faces a different challenge this time with fast ground also an unknown, and while she is clearly very talented, punters will be taking a chance at short dds she’ll be as good at the Curragh facing a very different challenge to Epsom. She may win, but she doesn’t look great value.

Bye Bye Baby, like Forever Together haliling from Ballydoyle, won the Group 3 BLue Wind Stakes in very testing groundover course and distance in May and may not have stayed when an eight-length third behind her stable companion at Epsom. She too has yet to prove herself on a quick surface, while the third O’Brien runner, Athena, won a Fairyhouse maiden over this trip on a quick surface and again ran well under these conditions when fourth at Royal Ascot recently, fading int helats furlong of the mile-and-a-half Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes to finish fourth. She is not without a chance of improving again.

The sporting choice here to beat Forever Together is William Haggas’ URBAN FOX, who on paper has 13lb to find with favourite and looks up against it. Trainer until the start of this term by James Tate, she has shown her best form on fast ground. She appears to have improved this term, beating subsequent Duke of Cambridge Stakes runner-up Tribute Act by a neck over a mile at Ascot in May, conceding the second 7lb.

On better terms with Tribute Act at Royal Ascot, Urban Fox could only finish fourth, just a length behind her old rival but staying on well at the finish suggesting this extra two furlongs could bring about further improvement. She looks the value to cause a surprise for her excellent trainer and jockey, Daniel Tudhope.

Turret Rocks is the only five-year-old in the field and has been very useful in her time. Jim Bolger’s mare finished third behind Nezwaah in the race 12 months ago, but may not be quite so effective on this faster surface. Nevertheless, she is not without a chance of finishing in the first trhee onec again have scored last time in listed company at Gowran Park, confirming her current wellbeing.

Fozzie Stack’s Harvestfortheworld is a decent filly but needs to take a big step forward to get involved here stepping up markedly in class.

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Betting.net Selection

Urban Fox
9/1
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Betting.net Danger

Forever Together
1/2

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.