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Just The Judge bids to go one better in Irish 1000 Guineas

Updated: Friday, 24 May 2013 14:59 | Comments

Just The Judge (maroon silks) was headed by Sky Lantern in the dying strides of the English renewal of the  1,000 Guineas at Newmarket
Just The Judge (maroon silks) was headed by Sky Lantern in the dying strides of the English renewal of the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket

Just The Judge heads a field of 16 declared for Sunday's Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

The Charlie Hills-trained filly will attempt to go one better than in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket where she was beaten half a length by Sky Lantern.

Amongst the opposition are three fillies who finished behind her that day - fifth-placed Snow Queen, Maureen (sixth) and Masarah (eighth).

Maureen represents the Sky Lantern stable of Richard Hannon and the Herridge team are going to try different tactics this time.

"We weren't sure going into Newmarket whether she would stay the mile, but she finished the race off better than anything, so we can be a little bit handier and, though she has a few lengths to find with Just the Judge, we think that she has a good each-way chance," Richard Hannon jnr, the trainer's son and assistant told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.

Snow Queen is one of three runners from the Aidan O'Brien stable along with Hanky Panky and Just Pretending.

The leading contenders include Dermot Weld's Big Break, Edward Lynam's Viztoria and the John Oxx-trained pair of Harasiya and What Style while Jim Bolger saddles Bunairgead and Rehn's Nest.

There were just two withdrawals at the final declaration stage - Harpist and Moth.

Eddie Lynam reports Viztoria to be ready for her Classic appointment.

The daughter of Oratorio defeated Snow Queen by seven and a half lengths at the Curragh in September before finishing second at Maisons-Laffitte.

She has already shown she has trained on by winning the Group Three Athasi Stakes, also on this track, on her reappearance.

"She's unbeaten here in Ireland and the only time she has been beaten was in France," said the County Meath trainer.

"She's in very good form and everything has gone according to plan. Johnny Murtagh rides her and we're hopeful.

"Obviously it will be a very tough race and we've got that very good filly from England, Charlie Hills' Just The Judge. She has got a very good chance and looks the one we all have to beat."

John Oxx is double-handed with Harasiya and What Style, but both have different ground preferences.

"Harasiya is a good filly but may have a preference for softer ground," said the Currabeg handler.

"She has been a little slow to come to hand but is pretty ready and we'll have to see how she goes on what we hope will be good ground.

"What Style ran very well in second in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown when I didn't think she'd like the soft ground.

"This is a big step up again for her and she has a bit to find but fast ground should suit her. Both her and Harasiya should enjoy a step up to a longer distance in due course."

Connections of the Clive Brittain-trained Masarah believe she can come on for her run in the Newmarket 1000 Guineas.

"Clive says she's come on a lot for her run in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and he expects her to run a big race," said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Mohammed Al Nabouda.

"She wasn't beaten far at all, they only passed her late on."

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