Varian steps Mijhaar up in distance for Curragh Cup
Hamilton may not seem the ideal build up for a Group 3 race but Roger Varian’s Mijhaar is fancied to overcome a step up in distance and class at the Curragh today. The son of Shirocco has never quite fulfilled the potential of his three-year-old campaign but there was plenty to like about his victory in Scotland last month.
Carrying 9st 10lb, he was given a bold front-running ride by Andrea Atzeni and his rivals never looked like pegging him back. That was his first attempt at a mile and a half and he tried a mile and three-quarters for the first time here.
There are no such stamina concerns for Glen’s Diamond, a game winner of the Yorkshire Cup. Top Trip made Richard Fahey’s gelding work hard for victory that day but boosted the form with a fine third in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Royal Diamond finished just over three lengths adrift at York and has a 4lb pull in the weights. He won the Irish St Leger here in September although he may prefer a little more cut in the ground.
Dermot Weld’s progressive four-year-old Voleuse De Coeurs could start favourite after an impressive victory over this trip in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan. The filly by Teofilo has also shown all of her best form on a softer surface and this will be first start on good ground since her debut in 2011.
Aidan O’Brien is represented by El Salvador and Ernest Hemingway. El Salvador ran a respectable race when sixth in the Ascot Gold Cup but looks held on earlier form by Voleuse De Coeurs. Ernest Hemingway is another stepping up in trip after finishing a fair fourth behind Parish Hall in April.
The field is completed by Zafarqand who is yet to break his maiden in five attempts and may be outclassed here.