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Mehnah sparkles on Rouge return at Killarney

Mehnah looked an exciting filly as she started to make up for lost time with an eye-catching performance to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained three-year-old overcame a wide draw on her return following a setback that prevented her from running in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The daughter of Frankel, who is a half-sister to 2016 Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Awtaad, showed her class in this Listed contest on what was only her third career start.

She was given a patient ride by Chris Hayes as Holly Golightly, Queen’s Speech and Thinking Of You were to the fore in the early stages.

Mehnah (2-1 favourite) improved her position steadily and came with a strong challenge on the outside in the straight to lead inside the final furlong.

Wearing the famous blue and white colours of Shadwell Estate, she won cosily by three-quarters of a length from Emaniya with Thinking Of You a length away in third place.

Hayes said: “She had an awkward, niggly injury 10 days before the Guineas and it was baby steps since making sure it didn’t come back. It is a muscle up high behind and she was very under cooked but fit enough for today’s level – we have her 75-80% fit.

“I’d imagine he’ll (Prendergast) want to go up in trip with her and maybe the Group Three over a mile and a furlong at Gowran could be a target. I think she is a Group One filly and I think she would be a good ride in the Matron or Sun Chariot.

“People don’t realise, but (from stall 16) you are basically on the road and had to cover a lot of ground. I got in as best I could but from two and a half furlongs down I’ve had to come widest of all and she has taken a blow.

“She is a very good filly.”