Iridessa impresses in Pretty Polly return to form

Irish Oaks could be ‘logical step’ for Joseph O’Brien’s filly

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Iridessa bounced back to her very best to spring a surprise in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained filly had ended her juvenile campaign on a high with victory in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, but had fallen short at the highest level in both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas after being beaten on her seasonal debut.

However, she showed her true colours to land the second Group One success of her career.

Magic Wand was the first to lead, but Wild Illusion went on seven furlongs out until into the straight.

Magic Wand regained the advantage, but Wayne Lordan produced Iridessa (8-1) with a well-timed run to assert in the final furlong and cross the line two and a quarter lengths to the good.

Pink Dogwood, trained like the runner-up by Aidan O’Brien, was a never-dangerous third. Charlie Appleby’s Wild Illusion faded into fourth, with the David Lanigan-trained Worth Waiting last of the five.

“She won very well and it was a huge performance. Wayne gave her a lovely ride and the race worked out well for her. I’m over the moon,” said O’Brien.

“It was very strong race. There wasn’t a big field, but there were some very very good fillies in the race.

“We were hopeful, and confident of a good run from her. The lads at home felt that she was as good as she has been all year.

“Obviously the step up in distance was a big help to her as well.

“It was fairly obvious from her pedigree that she should step up once she went up in trip, but obviously you don’t always know that until you do it.

“She ran well here in the Guineas. She had to battle for her position through the race and she still ran on well.

“She seemed to improve as she went on last year and naturally she carries condition and she’s strong and hardy.

“That’s obviously a career-best again today and she’s progressed with each run so far this year.”

O’Brien is understandably thinking of the Kerrygold-sponsored Irish Oaks next.

“We’ll see how she comes out of this. Obviously against her own age group it would probably make sense to go to the Oaks,” he said.

“It would be the logical step, but at the same time she won today like a pacey filly. We’ll get her home and have the conversation then.”

Iridessa was given a quote of 6-1 for the Irish Oaks with Paddy Power.

Iridessa impresses in Pretty Polly return to form
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