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Winter Power heading for Flying Five at the Curragh

Nunthorpe heroine Winter Power has been given the go-ahead for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Tim Easterby’s filly was a brilliant winner on the Knavesmire last month – and having reportedly taken those exertions in her stride, she will bid to double her Group One tally at the weekend before being prepared for the Prix de l’Abbaye on the first Sunday in October.

Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, said: “The plan is to go. She’s well after York and we just thought she might be too fresh if we left her between now and the Abbaye without a run.

“Winning the Nunthorpe was very special for all concerned. She’d threatened to do that – she’s raw speed and that track suits her.

“Having said that, she has won at plenty of other places, including over a stiff five up the hill at Newmarket, so there’s no reason why the Curragh wouldn’t suit.”

Donald confirmed the Abbaye remains on the agenda and that Winter Power will return as a four-year-old next season.

He added: “She’s an exciting prospect and as long as she runs well on Sunday, the Abbaye will be the next step.

“She won’t be going to the Breeders’ Cup. I would be nervous watching her go round a bend! She once went round a bend at Wolverhampton and she got stuffed when she had to run to about 70 to win!

“She’ll be back next year, 100 per cent. Ideally she’ll go Flying Five, Abbaye, make her champion sprinter and then do it all again next year!”

Glass Slippers after winning last year's Flying Five Stakes
Glass Slippers after winning last year’s Flying Five Stakes (PA)

Winter Power was one of 16 sprinters left in the Flying Five following Tuesday’s forfeit stage.

She may have most to fear from a fellow Yorkshire raider in Kevin Ryan’s Glass Slippers, who won the race 12 months ago before going on to finish second in the Abbaye and win at the Breeders’ Cup.

Archie Watson’s ultra-consistent colt Dragon Symbol is another potential challenger from Britain, while the home team includes Jack Davison’s Mooneista and the Joe Murphy-trained Gustavus Weston.

The Flying Five is the first of four Group One prizes on day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, with Classic glory up for grabs in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger.

Dermot Weld’s Search For A Song could bid for a third victory on the one-mile-six-furlong contest, while the Joseph O’Brien-trained Twilight Payment will look to add to his six course wins.

Johnny Murtagh’s Ebor hero Sonnyboyliston also features among the 22 contenders.

The juvenile fillies and colts get their chance to shine at Group One level in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes respectively.

Fourteen fillies remain in the mix for the Moyglare, with Joseph O’Brien’s Debutante Stakes scorer Agartha setting the standard.

Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in four starts
Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in four starts (Brian Lawless/PA)

The National Stakes throws up an intriguing clash between Aidan O’Brien’s unbeaten colt Point Lonsdale and Native Trail, who will bid to provide his trainer Charlie Appleby with a third win in the race following the successive triumphs of Quorto and Pinatubo.

Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Native Trail’s prep has gone well. It has always been the plan to progress from the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket to the National Stakes at the Curragh. It’s a well-trodden path for ourselves.”

Hugo Palmer’s Phoenix Stakes winner Ebro River adds further strength in depth.