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Busy Banimpire faces tough task to land a third Group 2 victory.

3.45 Curragh Blandford Stakes 1m Group 2 ATR Card page 57 Key stat Sir Michael Stoute has trained the winner three times in the past six years and he runs Eleanora Duse BANIMPIRE continues her busy and successful season at the Curragh today when she faces 11 rivals, including British raider Eleanora Duse, winner of the race a year ago and the progressive Bible Belt, in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes.

Jim Bolger's filly is making her 11th appearance of the year and seeking her seventh win of the campaign having already bagged two Group 2 wins, in the Ribblesdale Stakes and the Royal Whip, to go with a Listed success and three victories at Group 3 level.

Only touched off by Blue Bunting in the Darley Irish Oaks before running fifth behind the Godolphin filly at York last month, Banimpire has proved equally effective over 1m2f as over 1m4f, and speaking yesterday Bolger said: "She's in good form and, while we'd prefer better ground for her, she should handle the conditions okay."

Bible Belt is three from three this season and her trainer Jessica Harrington, who is also represented by Siren's Song, said: "Bible Belt has been very progressive. She's won a premier handicap, a Listed race and a Group 3, so this looked the obvious next step for her.

"She's never gone the distance, but her full-brother, Bob Le Beau, stays a mile and six so the trip shouldn't be any problem. She's in good form and she did win on soft ground last year.

"Siren's Song went off the boil after winning a Listed race early in the season. We're trying blinkers on her and we're just hoping she runs well."

Manieree and Kirinda represent John Oxx who believes the ground conditions will suit both fillies. He said: "Manieree is already a Group 3 winner who loves it soft. The trip should suit her well and she's in good form.

"Kirinda can be a difficult ride as she pulls quite hard and is inclined not to find that much under pressure. The ground should help her and we will probably come as late as possible."

Soft ground is also ideal for Sapphire whose trainer Dermot Weld said yesterday: "Any more rain would be a plus for Sapphire's chance."

Chrysanthemum, who last ran when third behind Misty For Me and Midday in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes over today's course and trip in June, represents David Wachman, who said: "She is fresh and well following a light season and we're hoping for a big run."

Aidan O'Brien said of his contender Look At Me: "She ran well when second in the Kilternan Stakes and has form on easy going, so we hope for a good run."

Joanna Morgan, trainer of Obama Rule, who finished fourth behind Bible Belt in the Dance Design Stakes over the course last month, said: "I think she will be in the shake-up. She's working well and I have a new fellow riding her out at home, which has her more settled and switched off."

Tony O'Hehir


Banimpire: is seeking her seventh win from 11 starts this season
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2011
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