Miss primed for Irish Cesarewitch
Michael Winters acknowledges his prolific mare Missunited faces her toughest task to date in the Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh on Sunday.
A smart bumper performer last term, the five-year-old has won five times from six starts this summer in a mixture of Flat and hurdle races.
Winters does not expect the testing conditions at Irish Headquarters to trouble his charge, but feels she has plenty on her plate with 26 rivals lying in wait.
"She's as fit as a flea and she's in great form. It's an ultra-competitive race but we're looking forward to it," said the trainer.
"She has been winning her races well, but she hasn't had too many hard races yet.
"Her races don't seem to have taken much out of her, but I think she'll have a much harder time on Sunday.
"The ground will suit her though, and the race will probably tell us an awful lot."
The Dot Love-trained mare Shadow Eile arrives in similarly impressive form, having won twice at the Galway Festival before completing a hat-trick at Bellewstown.
Assistant trainer Ciaran Murphy said: "We didn't think she'd have as much weight as she's got but it's a positive Joseph O'Brien wanted to ride her all along in this race.
"I think she'll handle the ground all right and she's up to carrying the weight, so we're hoping for a good run.
"We're a small yard coming up against the the big boys and you always need a bit of luck in running, so fingers crossed.
"She's entered over hurdles in Punchestown next week and she might go there after Sunday."
Gimli's Rock heads the weights for the two-mile contest, with Hidden Universe and Voleuse De Coeurs giving Dermot Weld a strong hand.
Other interesting contenders include Seventh Sign, Highflying, Fosters Cross and Whatuthink.