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McCreery hoping for Curragh rain as Lustown Baba takes Ballyogan test

Willie McCreery is praying for rain ahead of Lustown Baba’s bid for a third Curragh success in Wednesday’s Qatar Racing And Equestrian Club Ballyogan Stakes.

The four-year-old bolted up in handicap company at the Kildare circuit in October – and followed up in the Listed Testimonial Stakes just four days later.

She ran her best race of the season so far when a narrowly beaten runner-up to Snapraeterea in the Owenstown Stud Stakes at Naas on her latest outing and her trainer is hopeful of another bold showing – provided the ground is suitable.

McCreery said: “You’d hope she’d run a big race. We had soft ground, but we’re after having two beautiful days here and she does need a bit of cut in the ground.

“There’s meant to be a few local thunder showers tomorrow, so hopefully we get a few of them.

“She’s in good shape. You’d just love the ground to be on the soft side for her.”

The Rathbride handler also saddles Star In The Making in the six-furlong Group Three. She is rated 11lb inferior to her stablemate, however, and appears to have her work cut out.

“She’s got to improve and we’re just hunting for black type for her,” McCreery added.

“She’s a very honest filly and I think six furlongs is her trip.”

The likely favourite is Paddy Twomey’s Sonaiyla, who is also a dual Curragh winner and has never finished out of the first three in six previous appearances at the track.

The daughter of Dark Angel was beaten just a length into third place in the Group One Flying Five Stakes last autumn and can be expected to improve from her comeback third in the Greenlands Stakes less than a fortnight ago.

Other hopefuls include Ken Condon’s Thunder Beauty – last seen finishing down the field in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket – and her stable companion Teresa Mendoza.

The main supporting race on Wednesday’s card is the Listed Sky Bet Orby Stakes.

Joseph O’Brien’s Patrick Sarsfield is favourite with the race sponsors on what will be his first competitive outing since finishing second to the top-class Skalleti in the Prix Dollar at ParisLongchamp in October.

Aidan O’Brien is represented by Lough Derg, who has has finished behind the yard’s Derby favourite Bolshoi Ballet on his last couple of appearances, while Donnacha O’Brien runs Nicest, who was last seen placing third in the Cheshire Oaks.