08/27/2009 11:00PM

Heavy ground may suit Long Lashes


Long Lashes can take advantage of heavy ground at the Curragh on Sunday to win the Group 1, $359,000 Moyglare Stud Stakes. The winner gets an automatic spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Long Lashes won her maiden first time out by 2 1/2 lengths going six furlongs on June 26 on soft ground at the Curragh. Long Lashes was subsequently bought by Godolphin from owner Jessica Harrington and turned over to Saeed bin Suroor, for whom she duly landed the seven-furlong, Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago. Bred in Kentucky by Robert LaPenta and Nick Zito, the Rock Hard Ten filly will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori. Fully recovered from their springtime slump, Godolphin runners must be strongly considered these days whenever one of them steps onto a racecourse.

As might be expected in an Irish Group 1, Aidan O'Brien will saddle the favorite. Lillie Langtry has been knocking heads with the best fillies of her generation since late spring, when she won the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas. Second to Habaayib in the 22-runner Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, Lillie Langtry most recently took the seven-furlong, Group 2 Debutante Stakes at Leopardstown on Aug. 6. That effort came on good-to-yielding ground, but Lillie Langtry has never run on anything softer than that. Johnny Murtagh will ride.

Gile Na Greine is already practiced on the sort of ground the seven fillies will encounter Sunday. In fact, the Jim Bolger-trained daughter of Galileo won over the Moyglare course and distance on soft-to-heavy ground in her Aug. 16 maiden debut. While she is stepping way up in class, the ground will be very much to her liking.

Kevin Prendergast will saddle Termagant, a Powerscourt filly who won at first asking going seven furlongs at Leopardstown on good ground. Wrong Answer is a listed race winner at five furlongs for whom seven furlongs might be a bit too far. Gold Bubbles was well held by Lillie Langtry when fourth in the Debutante, while the Debutante fifth-place finisher Famous will serve as Lilly Langtry's pacesetter.

The Moyglare Stud lost some of its cachet when Clive Brittain withdrew his Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes winner Misheer due to the heavy going. Earlier this week, Brittain had stated that he was interested in sending Misheer to the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but he will now have to find a different path to Santa Anita for his Oasis Dream filly.

The Moyglare Stud is traditionally a prep for either Ascot's Fillies Mile, which is also a Juvenile Fillies Turf Win and You're In event, or the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp. Both of those races hold Group 1 status and may be preferred destinations for a European filly as opposed to the ungraded Juvenile Fillies Turf.