Jessica Harrington is doubly represented in the Group 3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes at Naas on Saturday as the trainer bids to win a second consecutive renewal of the race.
Stable jockey Shane Foley will partner Silence Please, a three-time winner that ran well in defeat behind subsequent Classic winner Even So at Naas last season, while Harrington’s other runner Sacred Rhyme herself holds a number of Classic entries, including the upcoming Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Irish Oaks.
The trainer will face stiff opposition from other Classic entries such as the Aidan O’Brien-trained duo of High Heels and Willow, while the Dermot Weld-trained Emaniya also holds numerous fancy entries for the coming weeks, but Harrington is relishing the challenge.
Harrington said this morning: “I’m looking forward to the Blue Wind Stakes on Saturday at Naas. Shane Foley rides Silence Please with Tom Madden on Sacred Rhyme and I’m hoping for a big run from both of them.
“Silence Please had a good year last year, finishing off with a second-place finish in a mile-and-a-half Group 3 at Leopardstown, having been fourth in the German Oaks. This is her first run of the season and we are looking forward to another good year but you have to get started.
“I also have Sacred Rhyme in there. She ran very, very well in the Salsabil at Navan, when she finished third. She’s a lovely filly with some big entries and you’d be hoping she improves for that outing.”
A field of eight go to post for the €65,000 feature race with Insinuendo representing in-form trainer Willie McCreery and March winner Thunder Kiss goes for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane, while trainer James Barrett will saddle Dearg Jazz.
An intriguing card begins at 1pm on Saturday with the €40,000 Irish Racing Writers due off at 4.25pm. A field of 13 runners go to post for the competitive sprint handicap in which Harrington is once again well represented with two runners.
“Rosie Bassett was second on debut and then won her maiden as a two-year-old so her run in Cork was a bit disappointing but I think the ground was a bit too quick for her,” she reported.
“On her second run of the year, you would expect improvement and the rain that has come is a help. She seems to be in very good form. She’s a proper five-furlong or six-furlong filly and I hope she’ll run a big race for Shane Foley.
“Bell I Am is a smashing little filly, who won her juvenile maiden in Sligo last year. She’s not very big. She’s got a light weight on her back and she tries her hardest.”
There will once again be a real sense of local support at Naas this Saturday with Quinns of Baltinglass & Castletown Press sponsoring the 5f handicap, while the concluding sprint on the card will be sponsored by local caterers Lily & Wild Take Away Picnic in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Ireland.
Eamonn McEvoy of Naas Racecourse commented: “The Irish EBF Blue Wind Stakes has brought together a competitive field at Naas this Saturday, thanks to the owners and trainers for their continued support.
“We are very grateful to our feature sponsor Irish EBF and Premier Handicap sponsor, the Irish Racing Writers for their continued association with Naas Racecourse. It is also fantastic to have Naas Racecourse Business Club Members Quinns of Baltinglass and Castletown Press co-sponsor the Quinns of Baltinglass & Castletown Press Business Club Handicap.
“All grooms of the race runners will receive a Quinns of Baltinglass jacket, a lovely gesture from a local company who are celebrating 85 years in business this year. Lily and Wild our new and exciting caterers here at Naas are sponsoring the Lily and Wild Take Away – Picnics in Aid of Breast Cancer Handicap. Huge credit to Kevin and Davina for also providing all grooms with a Tea/Coffee and a pastry on Saturday. It promises to be another brilliant day of racing at Naas.”