sport

Fiesolana takes aim at the Curragh

Willie McCreery's Fiesolana returns to action in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow having had a fruitless trip to France.

The consistent five-year-old mare fetched 960,000 guineas at Tattersalls in December and was sent back into training to McCreery by her new owners, Flaxman Stables.

Running over a mile at Saint-Cloud, having done her recent winning over seven furlongs, including the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket, she finished five lengths behind Sommerabend, but McCreery was pleased with her performance and she faces the same trip this weekend.

"I hope it will have just put her right, there are not many races for her over her trip," he said.

"Obviously the aim for her this year is to win a Group One having won her Group Two at Newmarket last year, but the only one over seven is the Foret at Longchamp so we'll be aiming for that.

"I just hope the ground doesn't get too soft this weekend.

"It was great that her new owners sent her back to me, I was over the moon."

Taking her on is Dermot Weld's Big Break, fourth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas last season.

Owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "She had a disjointed season last year.

"She just never really got it all together after the Guineas. She ran a blinder there but never quite progressed as we'd hoped or expected.

"Prince Khalid decided to keep her and she looked as well as she ever has done when I saw her the other week.

"She seems in good form at home and the way Dermot's horses have been running you'd have to think she'd have a chance if she runs as well as she looks."

Eddie Lynam's Pearl Of Africa ran well in Dubai but was beaten a fair way by Mustajeeb on her return to action.

"She was a little bit disappointing the last day, but in fairness to her she had no luck in running and could have maybe finished third with a better run," said Lynam.

"She'll need a career-best to win this race, but she's training well and we're happy with her.

"Hopefully she'll give a good account of herself."

Tommy Stack runs both Alive Alive Oh and Wannabe Better, Aidan O'Brien is represented by Peace Burg, Roger Varian sends over Princess Loulou and Purr Along has her first start for Johnny Murtagh.