Harrington Waits On Flat's Return

Jessica Harrington | Racing Post


Jessica Harrington's anticipated early assault on Ireland's turf season remains on hold as the latest governmental coronavirus measures has seen a stalling of the countdown to the resumption of racing.

“We're keeping our heads down and keeping positive,” the trainer said. “We are lucky enough that we have a very good team who are in every day and work very hard. Our flat horses are carrying on and the 3-year-olds are just ticking over. I'd hope racing will resume soon and if so it will almost certainly be behind closed doors and we'll see where we go from there.”

The Moone-based conditioner's roll-call is headed by G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Millisle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), whose early season target is Newmarket's G1 1000 Guineas.

“She's grown and filled out and I'm very happy with her,” Harrington said. “She looks like she has done very well over the winter and is ready to go. She has developed well and before the virus we were going to run her in the Guineas, as there is no reason why she shouldn't stay the mile. There is stamina on her dam's side.”

The Niarchos Family's G1 Prix Marcel Boussac winner and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf fourth Albigna (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) also received favourable mention, with Harrington adding, “She's also done very well over the winter and grown and filled out. I couldn't be more happy with her and she's there for the Classics too. We know she stays a mile and she will probably stay a mile and a quarter. We aren't sure about which race to aim her at, we are thinking of going back to Longchamp with her or going to the [May 24 G1] Irish Guineas, so we'll see who is in the best form at the time before deciding who goes where.”

Another Niarchos Family homebred, the G2 Debutante S. scorer Alpine Star (Ire) (Sea the Moon {Ger}), is the latest in a line of fillies holding Classic ambitions and is ready for action.

“She's got stronger, although she hasn't grown much, and is a mile-and-a-half filly and one who wants a little bit of juice in the ground,” her trainer said. “She could start off over a mile and probably could go straight to a Guineas.”

Jon Kelly's Cayenne Pepper (Ire) (Australia {GB}), who annexed the G3 Flame of Tara S. before running fourth in the G1 Fillies' Mile, is yet another member of Harrington's formidable band of sophomore distaffers. “She's done well and is starting to thrive now,” she commented. “She was a bit cold until this kinder weather came and is another one for the Guineas. She should stay and could end up over a mile-and-a-half.”

Anthony Rogers's homebred G3 Oh So Sharp S. runner-up Valeria Messalina (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) exemplifies the stable's strength in depth and also received a positive update. “She's done very well and is very short on experience, but is strong and even though she is by Holy Roman Emperor she could stay. Her half-brother [the G3 Desmond S. winner Pincheck (Ire} (Invincible Spirit {Ire})] got a mile-and-a-quarter.”

Team Valor International and Gary Barber's unbeaten Silence Please (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}), winner of both juvenile starts, is stakes-bound with the trainer reporting, “I hope she will start in a listed race and go from there. She is another who has done very well and is a tall filly who is probably a bit narrow still.”

Harrington had news of other promising types and continued, “I also have another nice filly, [the Leopardstown maiden winner] Celestial Object (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), and the colt [TDN Rising Star] Free Solo (Ire) (Showcasing {GB}) who is very well. He had a chip out of his knee after he won [by five lengths at Leopardstown in July] and is very good. He's being trained for a Guineas and is in great form. He seems to have done very well. Of the maidens, Gold Maze (GB) (Golden Horn {GB}), who was third in the [G2] Beresford, is also a nice colt and there is Lobo Rojo (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}). He was second at Naas the other day and I think he is going to be a lovely horse.”

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