Pearls Galore put up a sparkling performance to land a second successive Group Three prize in the Coolmore Stud No Nay Never Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary.
Successful in the Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse last month, the Paddy Twomey-trained filly was an authoritative winner after being well-placed throughout.
Billy Lee was able to position her in second place as Thinking Of You made the running into the straight, where Pearls Galore was asked for her effort.
The 5-2 shot strode clear to put the race bed, with Roca Roma coming from a long way back to claim second spot a length and three-quarters behind the winner. Loch Lein was a further half a length away in third.
Twomey believes Pearls Galore has earned the right to have a crack at the top level.
“I’m delighted she did that,” said the Cashel trainer.
“She was in great form when she won the Brownstown, and I said we’d go straight for the Matron (at Leopardstown next month).
“(But) she was in great form at home, and I felt it would be unwise to bypass this one on our doorstep. It was a very good race, and we had a 3lb penalty.
“I thought if she could do what she did there then we could have a crack at a Group One. I felt it might be a bit fanciful if we hadn’t done something like that.
“She’s earned her shot, wherever it might be. The Matron, the Foret and the First Lady in Keeneland on October 8 are all options – and Keeneland would suit her. It’s a quick, tight mile – but we’ll let the dust settle and come up with a plan.
“She’s bred by Andreas Putsch, who races her and raced all her family. She won’t run next year, so I’d say another run and that will be it.”
Master Matt (14-1) stuck gamely to his task to take the Listed honours in the Abergwaun Stakes, and give apprentice Sam Ewing the biggest success of his fledgling career.
Ewing was unable to claim his 5lb allowance, but it made no difference as he brought the Matt Smith-trained gelding home to win by a neck from White Lavender. Urban Beat finished well for third place, a length and a quarter away.
Smith, celebrating the second Listed winner of his career, said: “I thought he’d be there or thereabouts. Last time at the Curragh the heat got to him, and I was a bit worried about the heat today, but he was all right.
“I think five is probably his best trip because he has plenty of boot, although he’s won over six and seven.
“Sam said he was flat out early on, but he stays well. He’s entered up in a handicap on Champions Weekend, so we’ll see.”