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Perfect Polly

There was a lot to like about the performance that Perfect Polly put in to land the Abergwaun Stakes, the listed five-furlong race at Tipperary on Sunday. What looked ostensibly like a good draw in stall one on the far rail didn’t really work out as such, as she was fairly slowly away, (apparently intentionally) and settled back in behind by Fran Berry, which meant that she had to be take out and around runners in order to deliver her challenge. To this end, it helped that Senor Benny set a good pace up front. Perfect Polly settled nicely in fourth place until the two-furlong pole, when Senor Benny kicked on from the front and Berry had to get after his filly. A little flat-footed initially when switched to the outside, she began to pick up as they approached the furlong pole. She made nice progress to take it up off Senor Benny 100 yards out, then kept on well all the way to the line to withstand the late lunges of Snaefell and Aine. Although she only got home by a neck and the same in the end, she was always holding the challengers, and seemed to be happy to just do enough to hold them at bay before going on a little inside the final 25 yards. The form of the race is solid, the time was good, and Perfect Polly can go on again from this.

Second in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes for Andrew Oliver as a juvenile two years ago, and fourth behind Natagora in the Cheveley Park, the daughter of Efisio started last season well for Jeremy Noseda, winning on her debut at Hamilton and then following up by beating Aine in a fillies’ listed race at Haydock over six furlongs last May. She was off the track after that until October, when she disappointed in two runs before joining Jim Ryan for the start of this season. Sunday’s run was just her second for Ryan. Her first was a highly encouraging second to Girouette in the Sweet Mimosa Stakes over six furlongs at The Curragh at the end of last month, and Sunday’s run was a step forward on that, despite the fact that the drop back down to five furlongs was probably not in her favour. That disadvantage was reduced to a certain extent by the fast pace that Senor Benny set, but Perfect Polly should still prove to be better over six. She hung quite badly, even though she won, at Hamilton last May on the only occasion on which she has encountered fast ground, so it is probable that she does need an ease in the ground to be seen at her best. On easy ground and over six furlongs, she should at least be up to winning a Group 3 contest, and she could go even higher than that.

9th August 2009

(c) The Irish Field, 15th August 2009