Hayes holds high hopes for Tarawa in Minstrel

Jockey Chris Hayes is optimistic Tarawa can open her account for the season in the Romanised Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Impressive when winning her final juvenile start at Leopardstown, the daughter of Shamardal has so far failed to add to her tally as a three-year-old, but has been keeping good company.

Dermot Weld’s filly was second to Zarinsk in a Group Three on her reappearance before placing fourth behind top-class stablemate Tahiyra in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

She was last seen going down by half a length to Bold Discovery in the Listed Celebration Stakes and Hayes is expecting another bold showing in this weekend’s seven-furlong Group Two.

“It was a good run in the Irish Guineas and we bumped into a tough colt on ground that was probably a shade too quick for us on (Irish) Derby weekend,” he said.

“She is fresh and well and she’s handled the cut in the ground, so I’d be very hopeful of a good run.”

Joseph O’Brien is mob-handed in the seven-furlong Group Two, with course and distance winner Honey Girl and the high-class Jumbly joined by stablemates Snapraeterea and Montesilvano.

The Ger Lyons-trained Power Under Me bids for successive Pattern race wins at the track after landing the Amethyst Stakes in May, while Ado McGuinness hopes to saddle Ballycorus Stakes runner-up Real Appeal, but will keep an eye on ground conditions.

McGuinness said: “We’ll be praying there isn’t too much rain as we’re a little concerned over ground. We’ve declared him, but if it got bottomless we mightn’t run.

“It’s a solid race and he would have his chance if he gets his conditions, so we’ll just have to see how much rain arrives.”

Cosmic Vega, meanwhile, represents the training team of Mick Halford and Tracey Collins after a short head victory in the Listed Owenstown Stud Stakes at Naas in May.

“It’s a step up in class, but conditions look like being in his favour and the trip is ideal for him,” said Halford.

“We’re hoping for a good run and if we’re in the first three we’d be delighted, it would be a great boost for the owner-breeders.

“The more rain the better for him.”

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