May 28, 2023 - CURRAGH, Msw, EUR €20,000, 6.0F, .0000

Matrika (Ire), F, 2, 2021 by No Nay Never

1st Dam: Muravka (Ire), by High Chaparral (Ire)
2nd Dam: Tabdea, by Topsider
3rd Dam: Madame Secretary, by Empire Maker

Owner: Mrs John Magnier/Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/Westerberg
Breeder: Barronstown Stud
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

When it comes to the maidens at The Curragh's Irish Guineas weekend, it has become essential to follow Aidan O'Brien's chosen runners with the following year's Classics in mind and Sunday's Tally Ho Stud Irish EBF Fillies Maiden produced a winner in Matrika (Ire) (No Nay Never-Muravka {Ire}, by High Chaparral {Ire}) who very much gave that vibe. Following the TDN Rising Star label handed to the yard's Unquestionable (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) on Saturday, the same honour is bestowed on this debutante who went two places better in the six-furlong maiden than her classy stablemate Never Ending Story (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) had done 12 months ago.

Sent forward from the break by Ryan Moore, the market-weak 6-1 shot travelled strongly throughout in the front line and always looked comfortable exposed without cover before beginning to assert from the furlong pole. There is nothing in the winning margins of 3/4 of a length and a neck to the Joseph and Donnacha O'Brien-trained Grand Job (Justify) and Mysteries (Ire) (No Nay Never) respectively, or the unspectacular winning time, to suggest this was a TDN Rising Star-type performance but it is all about the future with this full-sister to Unicorn Lion (Ire) and The Wow Signal (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}).

Most of the stable's eventual group 1 fillies do not win by far on debut and it is more the manner of her success that suggests she can soon dine at the top table. Another TDN Rising Star in the armada to head to Royal Ascot, the imposing bay has apparently turned being laid-back into an art form at Rosegreen. "She's been very idle and lazy at home and so has been working in blinkers-she was declared in them and they were on and off about three or four times since, but Wayne [Lordan] who rides her in all her work decided last minute to leave them off," the master of Ballydoyle explained. "It was his call and the right one, so it was lovely to see her doing that. She is totally asleep all the time at home, but now she's done that first time we could leave the blinkers off again for the [G3] Albany. She could be one of those lazy workers and that is often a good thing. I think Joseph and Donnacha liked their fillies, which is a good sign."

Pedigree Notes
Matrika is, as mentioned above, a full-sibling of the dual group 3-winning Unicorn Lion (Ire) who was also runner-up in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen and a half to The Wow Signal who captured the G2 Coventry S. at the Royal meeting before collecting the G1 Prix Morny. The third black-type winner for the unraced dam Muravka is the Listed Prix des Jouvenceaux et des Jouvencelles scorer and G2 Rockfel S.-placed Miss Infinity (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), who also produced the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon runner-up Make Me King (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}). Muravka is also the second dam of the smart 3-year-old filly Breege (GB) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), who was runner-up in the G3 Prestige S. and third in the G3 Princess Margaret S. last season.

The second dam, the dual listed-winning and G2 Prix de l'Opera-placed Tabdea (Topsider), is a half-sister to the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Ta Rib (Mr. Prospector) responsible for the Listed Heritage S. and Listed Amethyst S. winner Tolpuddle (Ire) (College Chapel {GB}). Muravka's colt foal is by St Mark's Basilica (Fr).

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