Mehnah ready to sparkle on Rouge return

One-time Classic hope Mehnah bids to get back on the winning trail in Wednesday’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney.

A winner on her racecourse debut at Dundalk in the autumn, Kevin Prendergast’s filly made a most encouraging start to her three-year-old campaign when narrowly beaten in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April.

A tilt at the Irish 1,000 Guineas was firmly on the agenda before injury intervened, meaning she will make her first competitive appearance in three months in Wednesday’s Listed contest.

Angus Gold, racing manager for Mehnah’s owners Shadwell Estate, said: “She ran a very good race (at Leopardstown) and we were aiming for the (Irish) Guineas before unfortunately she pulled a muscle behind, which meant we had to ease up on her.

“She’s back in good form apparently. Obviously being drawn highest of all doesn’t necessarily make the task any easier, but other than that it’s a perfect race for her and I spoke to Kevin and he seems very happy.

“We’ll try to win a stakes race with her first. If that goes well, we can look around and have a bit of fun with her.

“The interesting thing with her will be what her trip is. She just got beaten over seven furlongs in the Guineas trial, this race is a mile and I’d always imagined she’d be a mile-and-a-quarter filly, but I don’t know that.

“Let’s try to get her back on track and see where we are.”

Mehnah features in a maximum field of 15 runners plus two reserves.

Joseph O’Brien has a trio of contenders in Neptune Rock, Sense Of Style and Thinking Of You, while father Aidan saddles recent Bellewstown scorer Friendly and Queen’s Speech.

The Ger Lyons-trained pair of Acanella and Amber Kite also feature along with Flirting Bridge from Henry de Bromhead’s yard.

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