Love is the potential star attraction at the Curragh on Sunday with the dual Classic heroine set to make her seasonal reappearance in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly enjoyed a flawless 2020 – producing brilliant performances to win both the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Oaks at Epsom, before dominating her rivals once more in the Yorkshire Oaks.
The daughter of Galileo looked poised for a mouthwatering clash with Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, but was ruled out of Europe’s premier middle-distance contest on account of the prevailing testing conditions.
With connections ultimately deciding against a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup, Love is poised for her first competitive outing since August in this weekend’s Group 1 contest, a race her trainer has already won on a record nine occasions.
The daughter of Galileo is one of seven Ballydoyle contenders for this year’s renewal along with Armory, Broome, Japan, Mogul, Serpentine and Tiger Moth.
Armory and Japan both recently registered victories at Chester, while Broome is enjoying a profitable season already having won each of his three starts in 2021.
Last year’s Derby hero Serpentine, meanwhile, could make his first appearance since finishing fourth in October’s Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Dermot Weld’s dual Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song also features, as does the Willie Mullins-trained True Self, who was last seen landing a lucrative prize in Saudi Arabia in February.
Joseph O’Brien’s has a pair of entries in Pondus and Thunder Nights, with Fiscal Rules (Jim Bolger), Helvic Dream (Noel Meade), Sunchart (Andrew Slattery) and Cayenne Pepper (Jessica Harrington) completing the 15 confirmations.
Classic honours are up for grabs in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas.
Richard Fahey’s Fev Rover sets the standard after finishing third in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago, while Ken Condon’s Miss Amulet and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Pretty Gorgeous could both make belated returns.
Miss Amulet missed Sunday’s Poule d'Essai des Pouliches due to unsuitable ground, while Pretty Gorgeous was a late withdrawal from the Guineas at Newmarket following an unsatisfactory scope.
A four-strong team for Aidan O’Brien is headed by Irish 1000 Guineas Trial winner Joan Of Arc. She is joined by stable companions Empress Josephine, Friendly and More Beautiful.
Other hopefuls include Donnacha O’Brien’s Shale and No Speak Alexander from Jessica Harrington’s yard.
Mehnah has suffered a slight setback that has ruled her out of the race.
It means the Kevin Prendergast-trained filly will be denied the chance to emulate her half-brother Awtaad, who took the Irish 2000 Guineas for the same connections in 2016.
However, Prendergast hopes Mehnah will be 100% for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“She’s tweaked a muscle, so we can’t run her. She’s all right and hopefully we’ll have her for the Coronation at Ascot,” said the trainer.
“It’s not serious. It’s just enough to stop her from running. In three or four days she’ll be okay, but not all right to run.”
Mehnah has had just the two career starts. She made a winning debut at Dundalk in September and just failed by a head to catch Keeper Of Time in the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last month. Both races were over seven furlongs.