It's Now Or Never for rejuvenated Kieren Fallon at Leopardstown
Now Or Never was a most impressive winner of the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown.
Ridden by Kieren Fallon, the Michael O'Callaghan-trained filly took up the running just after the turn for home and the race was quickly over as a contest.
Sent off the 13-8 favourite in what was possibly a below-par renewal, she could nevertheless do no more than win as she liked.
Fallon moved back to Europe from America to take up the role as stable jockey for O'Callaghan and performances like this were obviously what they had in mind.
Riding his first European Group winner since Cavalryman in the 2014 Goodwood Cup, Fallon had warmed up for the weekend with a victory at Chester's May meeting.
Although Radiantly ran on well to be beaten a length and three-quarters, Now Or Never had been significantly eased down by then and was value for much more than the winning margin.
Second in a Group Two last year, the Bushranger filly was runner-up to Jet Setting in a similar race over seven furlongs in heavy ground on her seasonal return and obviously appreciated the much better surface.
Fallon said: "We've always liked her, I was actually disappointed when she got beat here earlier in the year but she didn't enjoy the ground then and she really accelerated on this better ground today.
"I was impressed with her. She felt like a Guineas horse to me, with the exception of Russian Rhythm she'd be as good as any of the rest (he won the Guineas on). Sleepytime, Virginia Waters, all those.
"She's a good filly, she had Alice Springs behind her the last day and she finished third in the Guineas at Newmarket so she has to be right up there with the best."
O'Callaghan said: "I was a bit taken aback by it. Coming round the bend she was on the wrong lead and she switched her legs in the straight and just quickened up. The manner in which Kieren eased her down near the line was great to see.
"She does not show a lot at home. Blue De Vega is a very good horse, I've always had him as my best in training, she's up there but she's so laid back and you see her today and she looked half asleep.
"To see her do that on track was great and she got the mile very well. It's proper good ground out there and we've seen her at her best. We were hoping she'd come on for the last day and the step up to a mile would bring about improvement.
"With her pedigree from the family of Dream Ahead we were not sure she'd get a mile, but she got it very well today and I'd imagine a mile will be her optimum trip."
He added: "She will go to the Curragh (Irish 1,000 Guineas, May 22) and on good ground will take her chance.
"Blue De Vega came out of his race (second to Awtaad in Tetrarch Stakes)) very well. All mine are improving markedly for a run and he'll go for the Irish 2,000 Guineas. He's very well and I'm very happy with him."