Nahrain targets Blandford prize
Varian mare showing well at home
Last Updated: September 8, 2012 10:22am
Nahrain aims to get her season back on track in the Irresistible Jewel Blandford Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
Roger Varian's star mare enjoyed an excellent debut season, but has failed to reproduce that level of form in two starts this term.
Although she failed to fire in the Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, her recent homework is giving Varian encouragement.
"She has been disappointing so far this year but she is showing the right signs at home," the Newmarket trainer told his website, www.varianstable.com.
"This is her first run in a Group Two without her Group One penalty and if she can recapture her former sparkle she would have every chance."
Aidan O'Brien is double-handed as he aims to win the Group Two contest for the first time since 2000.
The trainer's son, Joseph O'Brien, partners Up, while Seamie Heffernan gets the leg-up on Soon.
"Up won well in a Group Three at the Curragh the last day and has been in good form since, so hopefully she can run a big race," said O'Brien jnr.
"Soon won a Listed race in Killarney and it's a step back up in class for her, but hopefully she can do well, too."
John Oxx saddles last year's winner Manieree, who was fifth behind Up on her comeback run.
Chrysanthemum, Aaraas and Caponata complete the home team, while Roger Charlton's Sea Of Heartbreak joins Nahrain on the trip from Britain.