Parent’s Prayer travels in hope again

Parent’s Prayer bids to continue her lucrative visits to Ireland when she travels over again for the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes at Naas.

The Archie Watson-trained filly makes her third successive trip across the Irish Sea from Upper Lambourn, having taken a Listed race and finished third in a Group Three contest.

It is at the higher level she competes again on Sunday as she begins a four-year-old campaign which Watson is hoping could be profitable.

“She won a Listed race nicely there at the back end last year. She showed she went well on heavy ground,” he said.

“I’m not sure how wet it’s been there – in terms of if it’s going to be wet, heavy or gluey and tacky – but it looks a very open race, and hopefully a good opportunity for her to win a Group race.

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“There’s a good programme throughout the year for these four-year-old-plus, mile-to-10-furlong fillies. Hopefully it can be a nice starting point. She’s wintered very well. I’m been very happy with her home work, and she’s ready to go.”

Her rivals are headed by the Willie McCreery-trained Epona Plays, who landed a Group Three prize at Gowran in September.

Of the three-year-olds in the eight-runner field, Dermot Weld’s Eylara is a promising type – with a win and a second from her two starts, both in maiden company – while the Paddy Twomey-trained Fantasy Lady took a Listed contest at the Curragh on the last of her three outings as a juvenile.

Ado McGuinness has a couple of concerns about Salstonstall in the Listed Plusvital Devoy Stakes.

The seven-year-old has a 3lb penalty for winning at this level over a mile on this course in November, and the County Lusk trainer is also worried about the extra two furlongs Salstonsall has to run this time.

However, the Pivotal gelding did not fare too badly over a longer trip last time when fourth to True Self in a very valuable race in Saudi Arabia.

McGuinness reports his charge to have taken his travels well.

“He’s great. He’s travelled well really well and he’s in very good form,” he said.

“He has a penalty to carry, so he has it all to do on Sunday. He has to improve again. He’s up against good horses and has to give them weight, because of the penalty he has for winning his Listed race last year.

“He’ll like the ground, but the trip is a little concern. I think he’s better over a mile in those conditions. We’ll be playing our cards late with him.”

King Of Comedy has his first run for Jessica Harrington, having left John Gosden’s stable.

The five-year-old entire has some very smart form, notably when runner-up to Circus Maximus in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2019.

Aidan O’Brien saddles Broome – who was a close fourth in the 2019 Derby behind stablemate Anthony Van Dyck – while his son Joseph has Numerian, a Listed winner and Group placed, among the 12 runners.

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