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Egan dreaming of a first Classic on Irish Guineas hope Qabala at his home track

David Egan is hoping Qabala can provide him with a first Classic winner at the Curragh, the venue that sparked the 19-year-old's love for racing and fired his ambitions to follow in the footsteps of his father, John.

Egan was raised in Kildare, just a mile away from the Curragh, where his father rode his first Group 1 winner in the Irish 2,000 Guineas with Indian Haven in 2003.

Now 16 years on, the former champion apprentice will look to emulate that victory when he partners the Roger Varian-trained daughter of Scat Daddy, whom he rode to finish third in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, in Sunday's Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Egan said: "To ride one of the fancied runners in the Guineas is a huge privilege. I grew up near the racecourse and lived in a house close to my grandad's [Dessie Hughes] yard which was about a mile from the Curragh racecourse.

"I used to go to the jumps courses with him but when there was racing at the Curragh I would go down with my school friends and spend my days there – it's an important place for me.

"It will be the first time I have seen the course since the building work and it will be great to see it all. My family will be coming so it will be a big day."

The biggest winner in Egan's young career to date came at Glorious Goodwood last season, when Pilaster, also trained by Varian, battled bravely to capture the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes by a short head.

Egan added: "I'm very privileged and I would like to thank all the owners and the boss [Varian] for the opportunity. For any jockey to know his horse in the build-up to a race is a big advantage as you know what you have underneath. I've done a lot of fast work with her at home in the build-up to all of her races this year.

"The person who knows her best is Dee [Deacon], who rides her out every day, and she tells me Qabala is in flying form. I will certainly take her opinion as she has been in the game a long time and knows a good one."

No British-trained filly has won the Irish 1,000 Guineas since Just The Judge in 2013, and Egan is excited as he and Qabala attempt to turn around the form with 1,000 Guineas winner Hermosa.

"It's her first race away from Newmarket," the jockey added. "She has been used to going two miles down the road so it is a big ask for her to go over there and take on the [Aidan] O'Brien horses on home soil. She ran a great race the last day and hopefully she can build on that and put up a big performance."

Qabala is a general 11-4 second-favourite for the €400,000 contest, with Hermosa heading the market at 5-2 with most firms. 

Dettori and Pollyanna set for Classic bid

Frankie Dettori will ride the Michael Bell-trained Pretty Pollyanna for the first time as she makes her seasonal reappearance in the Curragh Classic.

The daughter of Oasis Dream, a general 10-1 shot for the race, was ridden by three different jockeys last year including Silvestre De Sousa, who steered her to a Group 1 success in the Prix Morny at Deauville.

Dettori partnered Pretty Pollyanna in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket last month, but deemed her not ready for the 1,000 Guineas on May 5.

However, Bill and Tim Gredley's filly has flourished at home since and was noted doing two canters on Warren Hill on Thursday morning.

Bell said: "Frankie has been booked to ride Pretty Pollyanna on Sunday. We're pleased with the filly and expect her to give a good account."

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