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Can Sunset Shiraz shed her maiden tag in Group 3 company?

Sunday: 2.30 Curragh
Weld Park Stakes (Group 3) | 7f | 2yo | RTV

Maidens don't tend to win Group races, certainly not races like this one where there are eight previous winners in the line-up, but Sunset Shiraz is not your ordinary maiden and she arrives here with an official rating of 104, the highest in the field.

Sunset Shiraz was thrown in at the deep end in the Debutante Stakes, a bold call by trainer Gavin Cromwell given she had been beaten in maidens at Roscommon and Bellewstown. An unconsidered 25-1 outsider there, she belied her starting price by chasing home Agartha.

Debutante third Discoveries went on to win the Moyglare Stakes this month, where once again Sunset Shiraz covered herself in glory. She finished third, just two and three-quarter lengths behind the Jessica Harrington-trained filly, and a repeat of that effort will make her very hard to beat.

However, very quick ground could be an issue and Cromwell will be keeping a very close eye on the weather. 

Sunset Shiraz is officially rated 2lb superior to Concert Hall, representing Aidan O'Brien who is chasing a first win in this since Hermosa in 2018. 

David Loughnane, whose Rockfel winner Hello You has been declared a non-runner, is represented by Lovely Mana, but she looks to have her work cut out. 

Joseph O'Brien is triple-handed and Naas maiden winner Albula would be appear to be the best of his trio. She hit 1.01 on Betfair in the Flame of Tara Stakes before in-running punters had their fingers burned by a late surge from Magical Lagoon. 

That was over a mile so the switch to 7f will be right up her street. If the ground stays on the quick side it is Albula who makes most appeal.

What they say
Joseph O'Brien, trainer of Albula, Seisai and Tranquil Lady
Albula ran very well in the Flame of Tara after winning her maiden nicely at Naas. We think the drop to seven furlongs will suit her well and we're hoping for some more black type. Tranquil Lady won her maiden well at Galway and this looked a suitable opportunity for her next step. Seisai has done very little wrong all year and is already a Listed winner. She's a nice filly who has done well this season.

David Loughnane, trainer of Lovely Mana
On paper we're out of our grade but she's in very good order at home and I was keen to run her in a fillies' race. There didn't look to be a suitable opportunity for doing that at home, I saw this race and reasoned if we could nick a bit of black type it would be great. We'll be relying on her experience against some rivals who have run much less.

Gavin Cromwell, trainer of Sunset Shiraz
She's in great form and you'd have to be thrilled with the way she ran in the Moyglare. The problem is the weather and we need some rain to arrive.

Jessica Harrington, trainer of Trevaunance
She was very good at Cork and she's been in great form since. This looks like a nice next step up for her and hopefully she can pick up some black type. She's a lovely filly.

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