Eyes on Emulous in Equestrian
Emulous makes her first appearance as a five-year-old in the TRI Equestrian Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.
Dermot Weld's Group One winner is already a priceless breeding prospect, landing this event 12 months ago and progressing to the highest level in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
Easily the highest-rated in the field of nine, the Prince Khalid Abdullah-owned mare will take on John Oxx's Alanza, who was progressive last term but came up a little short in the Sun Chariot Stakes, as well as two decent British runners in the Marco Botti-trained Law Of The Range and Clive Cox representative Winter's Night.
"She's coming back and it looks quite a competitive race, I think, but Dermot's been pleased with her," said Abdullah's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe.
"She was very impressive in the Matron and if she can reproduce that form she's going to be something interesting this year.
"The reason she stayed in training is to try and emulate herself and we're looking forward to seeing her back on the racecourse.
"She's entered in the Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot and it's a possibility, but she is a mare who likes a bit of ease in the ground so the ground at Ascot would have to be suitable."
Cox has engaged Richard Hughes to ride Winter's Night, who was recently second in a Listed race at Goodwood on her first outing since last July.
She was third in two other such events last summer, including the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
"After such a long absence, I was pleased with the run at Goodwood, especially as the ground was very testing that day," said Cox.
"She seems very well but is going into a competitive race here.
"A couple of them will be hard to beat but I hope she does herself justice."
Weld has another runner in the shape of Malayan Mist, while Botti has chosen Joseph O'Brien for Law Of The Range, who got on a roll last summer but was only sixth in her latest outing at Newmarket.