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Queen Mary no-show Ickworth set for Curragh as McCreery seeks compensation

Ickworth is in rude health after failing to start in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, and trainer Willie McCreery is eyeing quick compensation at the Curragh on Friday.

The Godolphin-owned Ickworth was sent to post an 11-1 chance following two wins and left Ascot with nothing harmed – apart from a reputation she will bid to rebuild in the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes.

McCreery said: "If the ground is good or better she'll run. She came back from Royal Ascot grand – there wasn't a scratch on her.

“She was actually very unlucky in that she reared just when the stalls were opened and just fell down on her bum. There's not a bother on her and it was just one of those things. I'd be happier if it was over five [furlongs] but she's a very relaxed filly and hopefully she'll get the trip.”

McCreery, who sent out his second treble of the campaign on Sunday, could be doubly represented with Windham Belle also in the mix.

The trainer added: "Windham Belle is in the race as well and I think the trip will suit her. She’s in good form."

The feature race on Friday is the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes and Charlie Appleby, who runs Wild Illusion, will be hoping to continue the fine record for British-based trainers. 

Five of the last seven runnings have been won by British trainers and Appleby is confident Wild Illusion, who has won three times at the highest level but finished only sixth on her reappearance in the Prix d'Ispahan, can launch a bold bid.

He said:"I was pleased with her first run of the season and her first run against the colts at Longchamp. She was coming back to nine furlongs for that race as well and it has really brought her forward.

“Preparations for the Curragh have gone well and for me, she is back to her ideal trip as a stiff ten furlongs at the Curragh will really suit her really well."

Appleby added: "I'm pretty relaxed about the ground as she is very versatile and she has done plenty of travelling so that isn't a worry with her. I think if she brings the best of her form that she can be right there with a chance on Friday." 

Aidan O’Brien is responsible for seven of the 12 contenders as he chases a fifth win in the race. He has indicated that Oaks runner-up Pink Dogwood will head his team. 

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