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Classy sprinter Maarek will be a tough nut to crack in Sunday's feature in Mallow

Updated: Saturday, 15 Jun 2013 15:23 | Comments

Maarek in winning form earlier in the year at Naas
Maarek in winning form earlier in the year at Naas

The prospect of quick conditions has probably ruled Maarek out of Royal Ascot, but he bids for some compensation in the Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Cork.

David Nagle's classy sprinter won on Champions Day last year and appeared set for a fruitful campaign when returning with a Naas success, only to blot his copybook as favourite for the Duke Of York.

He has top weight to contend with in this Listed contest, with the opposition headed by Cape Of Approval and My Girl Anna, who were a long way behind Maarek in the Woodlands Stakes, and Andrew Heffernan's returning three-year-old Zoola.

Princess Highway was a costly failure on her return to action and is on a retrieval mission in the Cork Racecourse Mallow Noblesse Stakes.

Dermot Weld's filly seemed to have the world at her feet when cruising home in the Ribblesdale at this time last year, but she hasn't managed to get her head in front since and was only third in the Blue Wind Stakes last month.

Stepping back up to a mile and a half is in her favour, though, and it will be disappointing if she doesn't have too much class for admirable mare Midnight Soprano, British raiders Cubanita and Testosterone, as well as Jim Bolger's We'll Go Walking, who ran dismally in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial.

Bolger's Morning With Ivan tries to regain the winning thread in the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap, while the Conor O'Dwyer-trained College Boy is on a hat-trick mission in the Follow Cork On Facebook Handicap.

Aidan O'Brien has left Bye Bye Birdie in the Queen Mary Stakes and she could force her way on to the Ballydoyle Ascot team by landing the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

Her stablemate Dove Mountain was fancied to perform much better than he did on his debut at the Curragh last week and attempts to make amends in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at 2.10.

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