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Twomey set to target Irish 1,000 Guineas with talented trio

Twomey set to target Irish 1,000 Guineas with talented trio
Twomey set to target Irish 1,000 Guineas with talented trio

Paddy Twomey looks set to have no less than three runners in the Irish 1,000 Guineas as his yard is well-stocked with promising fillies.

The unbeaten A Lilac Rolla is the horse most recently seen from the trio, winning the Group Three Priory Belle at Leopardstown ahead of Natalia Lupini’s Kitty Rose when starting her campaign on heavy ground.

That run followed a juvenile season in which she was two from two, winning on debut at Cork and then taking a Curragh contest ahead of subsequent Newtownanner Stud Stakes and Prix Marcel Boussac winner Opera Singer.

“I was very happy with how she did it in the Guineas trial the other day at Leopardstown, she had two good runs last year and she backed that up,” Twomey said of the filly.

The trainer now considers the Irish 1,000 Guineas to be the right Classic for the bay and she is likely to head there instead of the English edition at Newmarket.

Billy Lee, Paddy Twomey and A Lilac Rolla at the Curragh
Billy Lee, Paddy Twomey and A Lilac Rolla at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

“I’d say the Irish 1,000 Guineas is the race she’ll go for next, she’s entered there and she’s not entered in Newmarket,” he said.

“She won the other day in spite of the ground I would say, she’s got form last year where she beat Opera Singer on pretty quick ground and then she’s won on heavy ground, so she’s pretty versatile.

“She’s a classy filly and every time she’s started a race, she’s done exactly what we thought she would do.

“The two fillies pulled away the other day and she had every chance to curl up, Natalia’s filly was very good on the day but she put her head down and the two of them passed the line well clear of the field. She was brave to win.”

Joining A Lilac Rolla in the race is likely to be Purple Lily, the winner of a Galway maiden last season and impressive when taking the TRM Equine Nutrition Race by three lengths at Naas on her first start this year.

Purple Lily (second right) at Galway
Purple Lily (second right) at Galway (Niall Carson/PA)

As she is lightly raced, Twomey would like to take his time and target the Irish 1,000 Guineas, which is three weeks later than the Newmarket contest.

“Purple Lily is an exciting filly, she went to Galway ready to run and was impressive I thought,” he said.

“She did everything back to front and still won, I was keen to run her back this season in a winners’ race as opposed to a Stakes after having just one run as a two-year-old.

“She’s a filly that came from the breeze-ups, she’s a big, strong filly, so I wasn’t in a hurry to give her another run.

“We decided that she’d go to Naas and take on the colts, as I thought she might be fit to do it, and you’d have to be very happy with what she did on the day in the ground against highly-rated colts. She was impressive.

“She will go for an Irish Guineas and not an English Guineas, and she’s a filly that will stay 10 furlongs in time. She’s very exciting.

“I’d like to get another run into her of some description but she could go straight to the Guineas now.”

Finally, there is One Look, another real prospect who commanded a great deal of respect when running away with the Goffs Million by six lengths on her only start as a two-year-old.

One Look winning the Goffs Million
One Look winning the Goffs Million (Damien Eagers/PA)

Naturally, she was a very warm order when making her debut at three at Cork and she did not disappoint, winning by three lengths on heavy ground over seven furlongs.

She too is on the path to the Irish 1,000 Guineas, with either the Athasi Stakes or the Cornelscourt Stakes the probable port of call along the way.

Twomey said: “One Look won the Goffs Million last year, I didn’t feel like running her again after that. To go to the race in September and to win as impressively as she did, if you give her a month after winning, you were into November and there’s not really anywhere to go.

“I was keen then this year to run her in a winners’ race rather than going straight to a Stakes, she had her one day at the races and she won very impressively, but it all happened quickly and I wanted her to have some more education.

“We took her to Cork ready to run, the ground wasn’t what we’d be looking for but she did what we hoped she’d do. She was the 1-20 favourite and my first runner on the day had been beaten, so I wasn’t feeling great about it! But she went and did it, it was a good educational day out for her.

“My thinking now is that she won’t go to Newmarket, I think she’ll stay in Ireland and either go to the Athasi Stakes or more likely the Cornelscourt Stakes at Leopardstown, with a view to going to the Irish Guineas.

“I feel that I’d like to educate her a bit more along the way, I don’t want to land her into an English Guineas just now. Those are the two races I would run her in if she is going to run before the Irish Guineas and the preference would be the three-year-old only race (Cornelscourt).

“I think she needs faster ground. I know that it wasn’t fast the day she won the Goffs Million but the way she accelerated on that slightly softer ground, I think she’ll get a mile and I think that she’ll get further than a mile, she’s light on her feet and she’s athletic and I think fast ground would be a real plus for her.

“She’s one that I would hope will progress all year, I’m just not in a hurry to rush off to England and give her a grueller. I would like to take the next step with her career in mind.”

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