Bigger prizes in store for Lady Kaya after Trial procession
The Classic dream is still alive for the Lavery team and jockey Robbie Colgan after Lady Kaya turned the Group Three Ballylinch Stud 'Priory Belle' 1,000 Guineas Trial into a procession at Leopardstown yesterday.
Trained by Sheila Lavery, who runs a relatively small operation in Summerhill, and running in the colours of her niece Joanne, Lady Kaya broke smartly and showed customary early speed to move to the front under Robbie Colgan.
The former jump jockey was always comfortable and could even afford to steal a glance over his shoulder in the straight to see the chasing posse under pressure.
Iridessa looked briefly like she might mount a challenge but with a three-pounds penalty as a group winner and needing a stiffer test than this seven furlongs, she was eventually nabbed on the line for second by Happen.
There was no threat to the victor however, with two-and-a-quarter lengths, that could have been much more, separating Lady Kaya from Happen at the finishing post.
"I said to Robbie today to just let her jump and travel and keep her together," said the relieved victorious trainer. "He said it was like a piece of work and that she'd blow harder at home.
"She has Guineas entries and I was really worried she wouldn't stay the mile, but the way she won that you'd have to go for the Guineas.
"Well done to Joanne because it was such a brave move to hang on to her. I'm so lucky to have her and everybody at home has done a great job."
Never No More capitalised on race fitness, experience, weight advantage and a suitable trip to swoop late under Ryan Moore and inflict a first defeat on Kevin Prendergast's Classic hope Madhmoon in the Listed Ballyinch Stud 'Red Rocks' 2,000 Guineas Trial.
The more experienced victor was having his fifth career start and his second already this term, having won the Madrid Handicap impressively at Naas a fortnight ago.
In contrast, odds-on favourite Madhmoon was only racing for the third time, and first since impressing in a Group Two contest at this venue during Irish Champions Weekend last September, meaning he had to carry three extra pounds.
The son of Dawn Approach lacked the instant change of pace to put the race to bed when pushed into the lead by Chris Hayes and he was a sitting duck to Never No More, which came with a flying effort to win snugly by half a length at the line. Prendergast will still almost certainly consider a tilt at a Guineas and then a Derby, while Aidan O'Brien also has big plans for his charge.
"We could look at a Guineas with him, either France or England - he could be a French Guineas horse," mused O'Brien.
"He's tactical and he seems to get that trip well. He finishes off and he did that in Naas as well."
The Ballydoyle handler also has a strong Derby prospect after Broome - beaten by Madhmoon last year - cruised to victory in the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes.
Sunday Indo Sport