Elegant Pose chasing fourth win from five starts

Elegant Pose bids for her fourth victory from just five starts in the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes at Naas on Sunday.

The Ger Lyons-trained four-year-old claimed a Listed prize over the course and distance last October and steps up to Group Three level on her seasonal return.

With Aidan O’Brien’s dual Group One-winning filly Rhododendron not declared, Elegant Pose is likely to be well fancied to make a winning reappearance.

Patrick Cooper, racing manager for owners Anamoine Limited, said: “She’s in good shape and all being well she’ll take her chance. She’s got to step up, obviously, and the ground is going to be horrible, but it will be horrible for them all. As long as it’s safe she’ll run and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Elegant Pose is closely matched on form with Dermot Weld’s Making Light.

The daughter of Tamayuz finished ahead of the Lyons runner when they were second and third respectively in the Hurry Harriet Stakes at Gowran Park last summer, but Elegant Pose gained her revenge when beating Making Light by a short head at Naas in the autumn.

Bumbasina was twice placed at Listed level last season for Willie McCreery.

“We’re hopeful of a good run. It would be great if she could get Group-placed at least,” said the Rathbride-based trainer. She’s fit and ready to go and I don’t think she’ll mind the ground.”

Simmie makes her debut for Adrian Keatley, having competed at a high level during previous stints with Sylvester Kirk and Karl Burke in Britain.

Keatley said: “Simmie is having her first run for us and we’re just trying to see whether she’ll stay the mile. There would have to be a doubt about it, but it will let us know where we stand. She works well and we can always bring her back in trip afterwards if we need to.”

The only British-trained runner in the seven-strong field is David Loughnane’s Star Quality.

The four-year-old has won twice on the all-weather this winter and was last seen finishing fifth in the Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago.

Loughnane said: “She ran very well at Wolverhampton. The race wasn’t run to suit and she was beaten just over four lengths by the (William) Haggas horse (Second Thought), who is rated 107. I think she is fully entitled to run in the race on Sunday and we’re hoping she’ll have a fitness edge on the other runners.

“She has form on soft ground in France and we’re putting the cheekpieces on her to help her concentrate. It’s a Group race and you’re off level weights against horses trained by some of the best trainers in Ireland, so it won’t be easy, but we’re going there quietly hopeful.”

Jim Bolger’s Panstarr and likely outsider Saint Irini from Eamon Delany’s yard complete the line-up.