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Lavery sights set on Jersey run for Belle Image

The Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot is next on the agenda for Belle Image following her excellent effort in defeat in Sunday’s Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Sheila Lavery’s filly was a widely unconsidered 125-1 shot for the Curragh Classic, having finished fifth in the Athasi Stakes and second in a conditions race at Killarney on her two previous starts this season.

However, the daughter of Kodi Bear raised her game to be beaten just over a length into fourth place and Lavery is now looking forward to a trip across the Irish Sea next month.

She said: “I was absolutely delighted with her – she’s just pure heart.

“I felt she wouldn’t be disgraced. When you’re up against fillies with those pedigrees, I wasn’t expecting to win, but I was very hopeful of a very good run.

“I know her two runs before were a little bit disappointing, but she didn’t handle the bend in Killarney and in the Athasi it was her first run (of the season).

Trainer Sheila Lavery
Trainer Sheila Lavery (PA)

“There was no reason not to try and I suppose when the rain came that helped us. I don’t think she’s ground dependent, but it might just have slowed up the race. I’d run her on good ground, but she can go on that softer ground whereas other horses can’t.”

On future plans, the trainer added: “I’d say we’ll go for the Jersey. I didn’t put her in the Coronation Stakes, which was maybe a mistake in hindsight.

“I think the Jersey will be the next step and I’ll have a look at the programme after that.”