/ Racing

British raiders target Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh

Updated: Friday, 27 Jun 2014 14:47 | Comments

Charlie Hills' Just The Judge in the claret silks
Charlie Hills' Just The Judge in the claret silks

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British runners Ambivalent, Just The Judge and Thistle Bird feature in a 10-strong field for the Newbridge Silverware Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Roger Varian-trained Ambivalent struck gold in the Group One contest 12 months ago and reappeared this season with a fine third in the Sheema Classic in Dubai behind Japanese ace Gentildonna.

She subsequently won the Middleton Stakes at York before finishing third to Cirrus Des Aigles in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Charlie Hills' Just The Judge enjoyed her finest hour to date when claiming Classic glory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at this track last year.

Her latest start was when third to Thistle Bird in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom.

Trainer Roger Carlton is in search of a valuable top-level success for Thistle Bird, who was beaten a nose and a neck when third in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp on Arc day, and is hopeful with one or two big names absent.

Charlton told At The Races: "At Epsom she produced her form of the year before.

"I was quite pleased The Fugue ran at Royal Ascot and Dank was in the same race. That's two out of the way, but there will be a few others.

"She needs to improve to win a Group One. We are there with a chance. If she finishes in the first three she'll be doing great."

With James Doyle required in France for Noble Mission, George Baker rides Thistle Bird for just the second time and bids to make it two from two on her having won a Windsor handicap in 2011.

Leading the home defence is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Marvellous, winner of this year's Irish Guineas and sixth to Taghrooda in the Investec Oaks. O'Brien also runs the smart Venus De Milo.

Irish Guineas fourth Avenue Gabriel represents Paul Deegan, with Harasiya, Along Came Casey, Pearl Of Africa and Peace Burg completing a strong line-up.

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