Skitter Scatter’s connections are cautiously optimistic the talented filly will do herself justice on her belated comeback in the Coolmore Stud Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary.
The daughter of Scat Daddy will have to prove herself again on Thursday evening, after she was well-beaten in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on her only start this season.
She was found to have torn a muscle, which has kept her sidelined for nearly four months, but is now ready to return to the fray.
Skitter Scatter was one of the best juvenile fillies of 2018, winning her final three starts – which culminated in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September.
Patrick Prendergast trained her as a two-year-old but decided to relinquish his licence during the off-season and join forces with John Oxx.
Prendergast said: “Everything’s OK. We’re happy the ground has dried up a little bit – that’s a help.
“We just hope she’ll go and perform well and come back sound, and we can move on and maybe head for the Matron, but obviously she would have to run very well.
“She has been showing us the right signs, but it was quite substantial muscle damage she did. It was quite severe damage, so we’ve had to go gentle and feel our way along.
“She will definitely improve for the run – but that said, she is a long way clear on the ratings. We’d be disappointed if she doesn’t run very well. If she doesn’t run very well, we’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”
Dan’s Dream bids to go one better than 12 months ago when she was runner-up to a fellow British raider in One Master.
Trainer Mick Channon is looking forward to taking his filly for a second attempt.
“She’s in good form, and we’ll take our chance,” said the West Ilsley handler.
“She ran a cracker in it last year. We’ve got a good draw (three), so let’s hope everything goes right.
“It’s a very competitive race.”
Ralph Beckett’s Blizzard and Hells Babe from Mick Appleby’s stable are the other UK representatives – while the home team includes two trained by Aidan O’Brien, Fire Fly and I Remember You.
Darren Bunyan warns Hit The Bid will need the race when he returns from a 173-day break in the Listed Abergwaun Stakes.
The five-year-old entire, who spent the winter in Dubai, is being aimed at the Curragh’s Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes next month.
“He’s just ready to get started,” said Bunyan.
“The race is not about where he finishes – he just needs a good blow ahead of the Flying Five.
“He’s as fit as I can get him, but he’s going to need it.
“He’s a bit older, and it’s taken a bit more work than it used to. He just needs that run to get him going again. It will make an awful difference to him.
“We gave him an extended break when he came back from Dubai this year, and he absolutely thrived on it. He did too well, if anything. He’s just taken a bit longer – he was just a bit further back than we’d have liked.
“This will bring him forward and leave him right for the Flying Five.”
Johnny Murtagh fears the penalty for a previous Listed triumph means Urban Beat has a tough assignment.
“A 3lb penalty will make it hard for him tomorrow,” said Murtagh.
“He’s had a break in the summer and he’s ready to start off for an autumn campaign.
“He’s won a Listed race, so you have to carry the penalty.
“We’ll just see how it goes before we make any plans.”
Ebor-winning trainer Ger Lyons pins his hopes on Ardhoomey – while Denis Hogan’s Hathiq and Richard O’Brien’s Chessman are among other Irish runners.
There are two British challengers – the Richard Hughes-trained Gold Filigree and Michael Dods’ Deia Glory.