Magical makes effortless return with Pretty Polly verdict
Magical made a triumphant return to action as she added another Group One to her record in the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
The five-year-old was last seen when winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot last October, with the mare subsequently due to head to the Breeders’ Cup before being covered by No Nay Never.
In the end the multiple Group One winner did not travel to Santa Anita after developing a temperature, and connections had a rethink on calling time on her racing career.
That decision paid immediate dividends as Magical topped off another successful weekend for Aidan O’Brien and jockey Seamus Heffernan in the Group One feature.
Riding the brilliant mare for the first time, Heffernan, fresh from winning the Irish Derby on the stable’s Santiago, bounced Magical out into an early advantage and she never saw another rival.
The result was never in doubt at any stage as the 2-5 favourite powered away to a four-and-a-half-length victory.
Magical was landing her fifth top-level success and all the major races over 10 and 12 furlongs will be in the mix, although she is likely to face old rival Enable at some point having never got the better of John Gosden’s charge in four attempts so far.
O’Brien said: “She’s very exciting and always has been, but she’s got stronger this year and that’s why the lads decided to leave her in training. She was to go to No Nay Never.
“We could have gone to Sandown (for next week’s Coral-Eclipse), but this was a lovely race to start her off. We’ll probably let Japan go to Sandown – he’s had a run.
“We’ll look at the King George for her next. We learned last year that she gets 10 (furlongs) really well and gets 12 as well. It makes her very uncomplicated.
“You usually see a big change between three to four, but something really strange happened the way she changed over the winter to this year. It’s very obvious the power she has now.
“She had been working brilliantly, but we knew that she would come on plenty as well. The Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc are all races that are open to her.”