Adrian McGuinness reports Harry’s Bar in fine shape as the six-year-old bids to be the toast of punters in the Listed Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on Thursday.
The six-year-old is seeking his first win in a season that has seen him take on the best sprinters in the game in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot before two runs over a six-furlong trip at the Curragh.
The latter races ended in defeat, but the chestnut – who even went to Saudi Arabia in February – went well at Dundalk in mid-August as he returned to form to finish second behind Ger Lyons’ Angel Palm.
“We were very happy with him on his run back at Dundalk,” said McGuinness.
“He just doesn’t seem to like the Curragh, but a flat track at Tipperary I think will suit him really well.
“He’s in very good form so we’re looking forward to a big run.
“The ground will suit, I think it’ll be nice good ground as it’s very warm here at the moment.”
Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat is well-fancied having finished third behind subsequent Nunthorpe winner Winter Power in the City Walls Stakes at York last time out, but McGuinness considers his gelding a worthy adversary for the five-furlong contest.
“Johnny Murtagh’s horses at the moment are on fire,” he said.
“Of course he’s the one to beat, but our horse is a very good horse and if he puts his A game forward he’ll be bang there with him.”
Also on the card, Pretty Gorgeous drops down in class from Group One company for the first time in a year when she lines up for the Group Three Coolmore Stud No Nay Never Fairy Bridge Stakes.
Since winning the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last August, Joseph O’Brien’s filly has contested five races at the highest level.
She was successful in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket after finishing second to Shale in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, but has failed to make the frame in three starts this campaign. Connections will be hoping Pretty Gorgeous can regain her confidence stepping back in grade.
Her rivals include Jessica Harrington’s Deauville Listed scorer Loch Lein, the Paddy Twomey-trained Pearls Galore, who won the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse, and Michael Halford’s eight-year-old Surrounding, winner of this race in 2019.
There is a British raider in Archie Watson’s Parent’s Prayer, who was only beaten four and three-quarter lengths when ninth to Mother Earth in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville three weeks ago.