Halford hoping Raydara can deliver first Classic


Raydara: has not raced competitively since last August

  PICTURE: Caroline Norris  

MICK HALFORD is yet to win a Classic during his training career, but has a solid chance of breaking that duck on Sunday with Raydara in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Although the filly goes into the race without a prep run, the form of her final juvenile start was given a boost in the Newmarket equivalent when Lucida finished second to Legatissimo. In the Debutante Stakes last August Raydara defeated Lucida by half a length.

Among 21 fillies still entered for Sunday’s Group 1, Raydara is a top-priced 10-1 for the Irish 1,000 Guineas, with Found heading the market for Aidan O’Brien at 5-2.

Halford was going to take Raydara to Newmarket, but decided against it, and said: “The plan was to go to Newmarket for the 1,000 Guineas but she just wasn’t sparking at the time and we said we would just wait for this weekend. She has been to the racecourse for a gallop and I’m happy with her.

“She is a clear-winded filly and an easy filly to get right and her form from the Debutante Stakes looks rock solid and was well advertised in the English Guineas, so you’d be hopeful she could run a nice race but a Classic is a Classic.

“She’s in good form and I’m very happy with her. The weather is to pick up later in the week and hopefully they are right as she would like some nice ground.”

 The ground at the Curragh was described as yielding on Tuesday, some scattered showers were forecast, but the rest of the week is forecast to be mainly dry.


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