WHILE Magic Chegaga’s journey down to Galway for the Colm Quinn BMW Mile was an eventful one - the vehicle towing her horsebox broke down at Kinnegad - her journey through the race itself was comparatively smooth.
She cruised up to the runaway leaders coming into the straight, went to the front for champion jockey Colin Keane, and always looked to be holding runner-up Casanova to the line.
Off the back of that famous win for her small-time owners, the Magic Lads Syndicate, based between Trim and Navan, the former Moyglare filly gets a chance in a Group 3 today, taking on five in the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes (3.40). She must concede weight all around as all her rivals are aged three so this will be a tough ask, but the prize of blacktype could be very valuable indeed and she only has to beat three home to attain that.
Maybe that could be that for her and retirement will beckon, perhaps prompting a nice pay day for the ‘Magic Lads’, but such an eventuality hasn’t even been discussed yet, Brian Duffy told The Irish Field.
“I haven’t even talked to the lads about that sort of thing,” he said. “We just had this race in our mind since the end of June so it’s great to have got her here with good form behind her. I wouldn’t have gone for it with her if she hadn’t progressed up through the handicap.
“She has been in good form since Galway. We’re just hoping to be involved but it’s hard to know if she’ll be up to that level, there are a couple of highly rated fillies in there and she has to give them weight. We’re hopeful more than anything.
“The aim is blacktype, wouldn’t it be great? She has come up through the handicap route and won a big one so she deserves to take her chance. We’re happy with her.”
While it’s a negative Magic Chegaga will have to concede weight to the likes of Juncture and Seisai, the somewhat unusual nine-furlong distance is a positive according to Duffy.
“We had our doubts about running her over a mile earlier in the season and she kind of surprised us with the pace she showed,” he explained. “Before the season started we thought that maybe a mile and a half could bring out the best in her but we’re nearly thinking that a mile and two furlongs is her limit now. I really do think the mile one and one furlong is an ideal trip.”
The Kidd is back
Also at the Curragh today, a full field of 27 has assembled for the Paddy Power Supporting Cancer Trials Ireland Irish Cambridgeshire (4.15). Among the leading contenders is Jessica Harrington’s Jungle Cove who will once again be ridden by the 10lb claimer Dylan Kidd.
The 16-year-old combined with the gelding to win the valuable Nasrullah Handicap on his first ever ride on a racecourse. He has had just six more rides since, including finishing second on Jungle Cove in a conditions contest at Gowran Park.
the plan for Mutasaabeq
THE best race of the day, by grading at least, is the William Hill Celebration Mile (3.35) at Goodwood where Mutasaabeq, trading in and around even money yesterday evening, bids to get off the mark at Group 2 level.
The Charles Hill-trained colt was much fancied for last year’s Guineas after announcing himself in a big way in a conditions event at the Craven meeting, but he failed to really fire back on the Rowley Mile and his season was disappointing thereafter.
He has added consistency to his form this term, winning at Thirsk on his first start of the year before hitting the frame on his next three starts, twice finishing second at Group 2 level, the latest of which was in the Summer Mile at Ascot.
His jockey Jim Crowley hopes he can gain a measure of compensation today and said: “This has been his target for a while.
“He ran very well at Ascot behind Chindit and didn’t really handle the track at Epsom prior to that (Group 3 Diomed Stakes) when he also lost a shoe.
“We are hopeful of a big run for him, as he has been knocking on the door and it would be nice to see him get his head in front in a Group 2.
“It is a pity that this race has cut up considerably and even last year there was a strong field, but he won’t mind if the ground came up soft, as he is pretty versatile.”
As Crowley mentions, there are only five runners in all, but there are even fewer in the preceding Group 3 William Hill March Stakes (3.00).
More intriguingly, one of the quartet is the Irish raiding 64-rated maiden Pink Fire Lily.
Trained by John O’Neill in Co Clare, the three-year-old filly is the longshot of all longshots here taking on Derby runner-up Hoo Ya Mal, bought for £1.2 million at the Goffs London Sale, however she only needs to simply finish the race to collect the fourth-place prize of £5,360.
That should at least cover her journey over and dinner on the way home.