Paddy Twomey looks to have a strong hand in the feature races at the Curragh on Sunday with Rumbles Of Thunder leading his team as she tackles the Kilboy Estate Stakes.
A three-time winner in France, the four-year-old got the better of the reopposing Seisai when grabbing Listed honours at Gowran Park in May, but she encountered plenty of traffic problems when up against the colts and finishing third in the International Stakes most recently.
The form of that race has a strong look to it and Rumbles Of Thunder’s handler sees the fact a Classic winner was behind in the form of Mac Swiney as proof the daughter of Night Of Thunder can thrive back in fillies-only company.
“She’s been great since she has come to us,” said Twomey.
“She won the Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes very well and it just didn’t happen for her last time against the colts. She had to give a lot of weight to classy three-year-olds, but she finished ahead of an Irish 2,000 Guineas winner in that race. She didn’t have great luck in running, but the first four home were three colts and her, so I think it was a pretty good run.
“I think back in fillies-only company she will put up a good show.”
Rumbles Of Thunder faces a strong UK challenge in the form of William Haggas’ Purplepay and Sir Michael Stoute’s Potapova.
Purplepay has already visited the Curragh twice this season, with a win in France sandwiching those two outings, while a mile and a quarter seemed to stretch Potapova’s stamina when disappointing at Newcastle recently, but her previous efforts suggest a drop back to nine furlongs will suit.
Aidan O’Brien fields three in The Algarve, Naas Listed winner Galleria Borghese and Lily Pond, who is Ryan Moore’s pick despite finishing down the field at Group Three level last time.
Of Lily Pond, the trainer said: “We’re going back in trip with her, maybe a mile-and-six was too far for her. We thought up to a mile and a half she’d be happy.”
“Galleria Borghese is progressing. She progressed a lot from her maiden to the last day and we think she’s in good form still.”
Of The Algarve, he added: “We’re going back in trip again which we think will suit. She got caught up in a strongly-run mile-and-a-half at Roscommon and it probably just took it’s toll but she seems in good form.”
Twomey also bids for Group Two success in the Romanised Minstrel Stakes earlier on the card, where the filly Pearls Galore is well fancied to notch up a hat-trick.
The five-year-old has won both starts this season and having placed in the Matron Stakes and Prix de la Foret last term, registered her first victory at Group Two level when winning the Lanwades Stud Stakes by a neck last time.
She now drops back in trip to a distance she has won over four times in the past and Twomey has no qualms about the trip, expecting a bold showing.
He said: “It’s a good race and hopefully she will run well. She’s in good form and has run against colts in the past in France and the Breeders’ Cup Mile, so we think its a nice next step for her.
“She’s won over seven furlongs in the past, so that (the distance) will be fine and she will probably go back to fillies only races afterwards.”
Defending champion Order Of Australia could be Pearls Galore’s biggest danger in the race and has the chance to give O’Brien his fourth victory in the seven-furlong event in the last 10 years.
The son of Australia is the sole Ballydoyle representative and O’Brien said: “We’re very happy with him, everything has gone well since Ascot.
“Obviously he won the race last year and everything is good with him.”
Also in the six-runner field is Ger Lyons’ Dr Zempf, who will be searching for his third win of the campaign having landed Leopardstown’s Group Three Ballycorus Stakes when last sighted.