Sir Michael Stoute books Colin Keane for sole runner at the Curragh on Sunday

Sir Michael Stoute looks all set for a good season

Sir Michael Stoute has never gone away, and this year he has proven with Desert Crown that he is still one of the best trainers on earth. It isn’t too often to Stoute sends a runner to Ireland but he is sending one to the Curragh this Sunday. Is that a tip in itself? It might well be.

Stoute won the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes in consecutive years in 2013 and 2014 with Dank and Mango Diva. He without doubt knows what sort of horse he needs to win the race. Let’s take a look at the horse in a little more detail below.

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3.55 Curragh

The horse in question is Popatova, sporting the familiar Cheveley Park red and white silks with blue cap. This filly looked very smart when winning her first two career starts before being pitched straight into Group 1 level when down the field in the Coronation Stakes last year.

Stoute runners always generally get better with age so it was no shock to see her run a cracker on seasonal reappearance when narrowly beaten in a Listed contest at Kempton in April over a mile. The third that day, My Astra, has since gone on to win a Listed race at Ayr by 10 lengths before finishing second in the Group 1 Pretty Polly at the Curragh, serious form.

Popatova found only one too good again at Epsom soon after this and disappointed when down the field at Newcastle in June, but she should feel more at home back on turf. If she reproduces that Kempton run, she will be hard to beat in this.


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