After a thrilling finish to the 2021 renewal of the Irish Derby, it's the fillies' turn to take centre stage on Sunday and it looks a competitive renewal of the Pretty Polly Stakes.
1.30 pm Barronstown Stud Irish EBF Maiden
This race will likely go to one of the newcomers. Luxembourg appears to be the Ballydoyle first string. Atomic Jones is a well bred sort who cost a few quid as a yearling. It could be significant that Ger Lyons starts him off here.
Selection: Luxembourg 11/4
2pm Airlie Stud Stakes
Cheerupsleepyjean sets the standard by virtue of her placed effort in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. Her disappointing effort at this course on a penultimate start is a nagging concern. Velocidad did plenty wrong when making a winning debut in Fairyhouse. She should know more here, and better ground promises to suit.
Selection: Velocidad 7/2
2.30pm Sherry FitzGerald Handicap
Blairmayne saves his best for this track. His seasonal comeback in Naas was full of promise. His subsequent effort in Fairyhouse is best forgotten. He should go very close from a competitive mark. Rough Diamond remains unexposed. He would be greatly feared if building on his latest start.
Selection: Blairmayne 16/1
3.05pm Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap
Strong Johnson bids to repeat last year's heroics in this race. He's higher in the weights but has the assistance of a promising claimer on board. The horse clearly goes well at this track, and wouldn't have to improve much on his runner up finish last time out to take a hand here. Only Spoofing heads a long list of credible alternatives.
Selection: Strong Johnson 12/1
3.40pm Tattersalls Pretty Polly Stakes
Willie McCreery holds a strong hand here. Epona Plays is in rare form, and may enjoy a tactical advantage in the race. Stablemate Insinuendo is improving fast. Granted, she will need to find more to prevail here. At a double figure price, it's probably worth chancing her to do just that. Santa Barbara heads the betting. She's not short of talent but her attitude remains open to question.
Selection: Insinuendo 16/1
4.10pm Comer Group Curragh Cup
Passion proved a tough, consistent and progressive sort last season. If fit enough to do herself justice here, she can take advantage of her sex allowance. Pondus looks sure to run well.
Selection: Passion 13/8
4.45pm Irish Stallion Farms "Ragusa" Handicap
Aesop has proven generally consistent in a relatively brief career. A blip on his penultimate start can be forgiven. He should have scope to defy the handicapper. Mosala is another progressive sort. He's respected stepping up in trip.
Selection: Aesop 4/1
5.20pm Finlay Volvo Maiden
Yermanthere could go well at rewarding odds. He made a promising debut in Gowran last month. He would have finished much closer but for suffering interference on the run for home. Notre Belle Bete sets a very high standard but he's in danger of having a great career behind him though.
Selection: Yermanthere 20/1
Watch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival live on RTÉ2 and on the RTÉ Player this Saturday and Sunday from 1.45pm. Coverage also on Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1, from 2pm.