Fallen Angel seeking Classic redemption at the Curragh

Karl Burke is optimistic Fallen Angel can show her true colours when she gets a second chance at Classic glory in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on Sunday.

The Too Darn Hot filly is already a Group One winner at the Curragh, having signed off an excellent juvenile campaign with victory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes in September.

She was sent off favourite to provide her trainer with a first Classic success on home soil on her seasonal reappearance in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago, but finished only eighth of 16 runners, albeit beaten less than five lengths by the surprise scorer Elmalka.

While keen not to make excuses for his star filly’s underwhelming performance at Headquarters, Burke is quietly confident of an improved effort on Irish soil this weekend.

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Karl Burke has high hopes for Fallen Angel
Karl Burke has high hopes for Fallen Angel (Mike Egerton/PA)

He said: “She came out of Newmarket really well, she’s in great shape and I’m very happy with her, so fingers crossed she can run a bit better for us on Sunday.

“She just wasn’t good enough on the day in the Guineas, it’s as simple as that, but she looks in really good form and she’s obviously proven on the track (the Curragh). Hopefully the ground will be decent and we’ll see what happens.

“We’ll learn a little bit more about her and I’d be very hopeful she can run a big race for us.”

The likely favourite is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Opera Singer, who has not been seen in competitive action since her scintillating display in the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp last October.

With a spring setback having delayed the Justify filly’s three-year-old debut, the Ballydoyle handler has warned she will not be at concert pitch, with a trip to Royal Ascot for next month’s Coronation Stakes already identified as her next objective.

“Opera Singer will run but she will improve a lot from it. She didn’t have a straightforward spring, but we’re hoping if we got her started, we would have her right for Ascot,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“She’ll run a nice race, hopefully. She has done very well physically, but she did have a setback in the spring which cost us three weeks and if you get cost three weeks, it usually costs you two months, so that’s where we are with her.

“She’s in good form, Dean (Gallagher) is riding her every day and seems happy, so she is coming.”

O’Brien also saddles Buttons, Pearls And Rubies and the supplemented Everlasting, as he looks to add to his record haul of 10 victories in Ireland’s first fillies’ Classic of the year.

Paddy Twomey fires a twin assault, with the unbeaten A Lilac Rolla joined by stablemate Purple Lily.

A Lilac Rolla (left) on her way to victory at Leopardstown
A Lilac Rolla (left) on her way to victory at Leopardstown (Brian Lawless/PA)

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A Lilac Rolla made it three from three in a Group Three at Leopardstown on her most recent outing, while Purple Lily steps back in trip to a mile after being narrowly beaten over 10 furlongs in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

Twomey said: “They’re two nice fillies with two nice profiles, they’ve ran three times each and progressed every time. We’ve got two good riders and we’re looking forward to Sunday.”

The once-raced Leopardstown maiden winner Azada bids to provide Dermot Weld with a third successive victory in the race following the recent wins of Homeless Songs and Tahiyra, while the Willie McCreery-trained Vespertilio turns out just two weeks after finishing a close third in the French 1000 Guineas.

“She seems in great form and when it’s on your doorstep, you have to take a chance,” said McCreery.

“I hope they don’t get too much rain, I think she’s better on better ground, but she won’t mind as long as it’s not too soft.

“We’re hopeful that if she puts in the same run as she did in France, we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

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