Euphrasia camp assess options
Last Updated: 26/08/14 12:22pm
Euphrasia: Set for Irish Champions weekend
An appearance on Irish Champions Weekend in September appears likely for Euphrasia following a pleasing return to action in France on Sunday.
Joe Murphy's mare had been off the track since finishing third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh three months ago, but performed with plenty of credit to take fifth spot in the Group One Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.
With soft ground an important factor, connections are keen to keep their options open for the rest of the campaign.
"We were happy with the run, but maybe a bit disappointed with the result," said Joe Murphy jnr, the County Tipperary trainer's son and assistant.
"She ran well, but she was a bit fresh and did a bit too much down the back.
"She normally comes home well, but she just galloped on at the one pace in the straight.
"She hadn't run since May, so you would expect her to improve for the run.
"She's in the Blandford Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh (September 14) and also the Matron at Leopardstown a day earlier, but she'd only run in the Matron if it was soft as a mile is as short as she'd want to go.
Festival of Food and WIne Raceday, Ascot
EXCLUSIVE! £5 discount on all tickets plus a free £5 drinks voucher with every adult ticket - only when you buy with Sky Tickets. Plus no booking or delivery fees.
"Later on she's in the Group One on Champions Day at Ascot (British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, October 18), so we'll see.
"The ground does seem to be important to her. We can't really understand it as her action and the way she works at home doesn't suggest she needs soft ground, but that doesn't translate to the track.
"The formbook tells you she's better when the ground is soft."
Meanwhile, the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh and Doncaster's Racing Post Trophy are among a host of options under consideration for stablemates Vert De Grece and Shepherd's Purse.
Leopardstown winner Vert De Grece enhanced his reputation when only narrowly denied by Gleneagles in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, while Shepherd's Purse made an impressive victorious debut at the same track a day earlier.
Murphy's exciting juveniles appear unlikely to lock horns in the coming months, with connections expecting both horses to make their mark in top company before the season is out.
"Vert De Grece is a nice horse and we were quite happy with the run," continued Murphy.
"We could look to step him up to a mile now.
"He's in the Beresford Stakes, but we could think about supplementing him for the National Stakes at the Curragh. It might be one or the other of those.
"He's also in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and we'll put in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day at Longchamp. I think he might have two runs before the end of the season.
"He's a talented horse with a great attitude and he only does enough.
"We always thought Shepherd's Purse wanted seven furlongs and would get a mile, so we expected the six furlongs to be the bare minimum for him on Saturday, but he was quite impressive.
"We'll think about putting him in the Round Tower Stakes this coming Sunday at the Curragh and he'll also be entered in the Beresford, the Racing Post Trophy and the Lagardere, so we'll see.
"He's a big horse at nearly 17 hands, but he's obviously got a big engine as well.
"I don't think it will be that difficult to keep him and the other horse (Vert De Grece) apart.
"We wouldn't supplement Shepherd's Purse for the National Stakes off the back of one run, but he might go for the Beresford and then one could go for the Racing Post Trophy and the other could go for the Lagardere."