Halford hopes Morning Frost leaves Joyeuse out in cold
Frankel's half-sister Joyeuse goes in search of some more extremely valuable black type in the Ballyogan Stakes at Leopardstown this evening.
The Lady Cecil-trained three-year-old faced an unenviable task before she had even stepped foot on a racecourse due to the exploits of her sibling. Having won easily on her debut, though, her future looked suitably bright.
Not disgraced in the Albany Stakes a year ago when third to Kiyoshi, her career has been hit and miss since, but she has won twice at Listed level, including last time out at Haydock when reverting to sprinting having failed to stay in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas.
"We dropped her back to sprinting at Haydock and she won nicely there," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.
"This is a step back up in class again to Group company, so we'll have to see how she fares. It looks a nice opening, but they all do on paper."
Eddie Lynam is represented by Gathering Power, which has been in good form of late and chased home Joyeuse at Haydock. However, Lynam's four-year-old meets her conqueror on worse terms back at home.
"She's in good form. She'll find it hard to beat Lady Cecil's horse. It's hard to think we can turn the tables on Joyeuse, but we'll take our chance and give it a go," he said. "The ground's drying out a lot which won't be in her favour."
Mick Halford expects a better showing from Morning Frost. Having joined from Christope Ferland in France at the start of the season, she has shown little in her three starts in Ireland, but Halford has seen an improvement in her home work.
"She's had a few runs for us and she had shown some decent form in France," said Halford. "I've seen some improvement in her at home recently, she should much prefer this better ground and I expect her to run better.
"We'll look to get some more black type for her, as she won a Listed in France. This is fillies only, so she should have more of a chance."
Aidan O'Brien runs Sparrow, while John Oxx is represented by the lightly raced Seas Of Wells in the eight-runner field.