Discoveries has been set the task of emulating her relatives, with Jessica Harrington pointing towards the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot for her next outing.
Both sister Alpha Centuri and half-sister Alpine Star have won the mile Group One for owners the Niarchos Family in the past and Discoveries is set to skip the Irish 1,000 Guineas to try to continue the family’s fine record in the race.
Harrington said: “The plan is to go to Ascot to get the three fillies to win the Coronation Stakes. We’ll train her for that, there’s lots of races for her, they have just come a bit close together.”
The daughter of Mastercraftsman was a Group One scorer last year when finishing her two-year-old season by winning the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, but could only finish seventh when reappearing in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
However, Harrington suggests the ground was a touch on the quick side for that reappearance run and Discoveries has done everything right in her homework since.
She continued: “She’s grand, we’re very happy with her. Maybe the ground was a bit fast for her at Newmarket.”
Royal Ascot is also on the agenda for Harrington’s Magical Lagoon, with the handler resisting the temptation to go to Epsom for the Oaks, giving the daughter of Galileo the target of the Ribblesdale Stakes instead, before bidding for Classic glory on home soil later in the summer.
A 305,000 guineas buy as a yearling, she was denied by just a short head behind Concert Hall in the Listed Salsabil Stakes on her reappearance and saw the form of that Navan contest boosted when the fourth, Tranquil Lady, romped to an impressive victory in a Naas Group Three recently.
“She’s not going to go to Epsom, she’s going to go straight to the Ribblesdale and then onto the Irish Oaks. The form of her Navan run got a great boost at Naas,” said Harrington.
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Discoveries is on course for the Qipco 1000 Guineas with Jessica Harrington hoping for a dry spring.
The sister of superstar filly Alpha Centauri and half-sister to dual top-level winner Alpine Star, Discoveries landed the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes in gutsy fashion at the Curragh in September.
Harrington hosted members of the media at her Commonstown Stables on Monday and outlined her plans for several of her stable stars.
“All being well she goes to the English Guineas, that’s the plan at the minute, provided the ground is fast,” said Harrington.
“I won’t run her unless the ground is quick. She’s like her sister, she doesn’t like slow ground, and the quicker the ground the better she goes.
“She’s done well over the winter and I’m happy with her. The family all got a mile and her half-sister, Alpine Star, got a mile-and-a-quarter, so you’d imagine she’ll get a mile perfect.
“Her work is pleasing and we might as well try and go to Newmarket, if the ground is soft that’s that and we can then go to the Curragh.
“We’ll just have to see what happens. I’m not going to make the same mistake I made with Alpha, running her on soft ground and then realising she couldn’t walk on it.
“Discoveries is the same, she struggled on yielding ground.”
Harrington knows the family well and each individual has its own characteristics.
She added: “I have her full brother here, Simpson’s Paradox he’s called, and he’s very different again.
“You could line them all up and one is more different than the other.
“Alpha Centauri was a big grey, Alpine Star was a little low, insignificant filly about 15.2 (hands) and a mealy chestnut. Discoveries is bay with a big head, completely different again.
“The colt Simpson’s Paradox is very pretty, very attractive, and quite small, but he is a middle of May foal. He’s only starting to grow now. They are an extraordinary family.”
Harrington also has Classic aspirations for Villanova Queen, who finished a close-up third in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Saturday.
“I’ll have to see how she has come out of Saturday’s race but looking at her this morning she’s very relaxed,” said Harrington.
“I’m delighted, as I thought she might be all over the place today, but she’s not.
“All being well she’ll go to the Irish Guineas.
“She had a very wide draw the other day and was coming back to seven furlongs, having won over a mile. That wasn’t ideal but she stayed it well and I was delighted with her. She’s a lovely big filly.”
Magical Lagoon, winner of the Group Three Flame Of Tara at the Curragh in August, is also regarded as a filly with Classic potential.
“She will run in the Salsabil Stakes and she got an entry today in the English Oaks,” said Harrington.
“She did a racecourse gallop the other day and we were very happy with her. She’s done well and gotten very strong over the winter.
“She’s always been a big strong filly and she seems to be a bit sharper than she was last year. She took a little while last year to get going. She’ll want a mile-and-a-half.”
Harrington hopes Confident Star, who won a Cork maiden before being beaten two lengths in a Group Three contest at Leopardstown last October, can prove himself a Classic contender.
“I’m very happy with him and he’ll most likely go for a Guineas trial. I think he’s a miler and I think he’s a stronger horse this year,” she said.
Forbearance won the Galtres at York and the Princess Royal at Newmarket last term, and is likely to be the standard bearer for Harrington’s older horses this summer.
“She’s won her Listed and won her Group Three,” said the 75-year-old handler.
“We’ll look at fillies’ races, four-year-olds and upwards, over a mile-and-a-quarter to a mile-and-a-half, maybe even a mile-five as long as the ground is quick.
“She bounces off quick ground and could make a few journeys to England.”
Benitoite is also likely to progress following a fine runner-up effort on her debut in a 17-runner Curragh maiden last August.
The Pivotal filly holds entries in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Irish Oaks, and Harrington said: “She should have won at the Curragh, she got knocked over and then she didn’t run again.
“She’s a lovely filly and she’s done very well over the winter. She’ll be ready to run in about three weeks and she’s starting to go very well.”
One unraced colt earmarked for big things is Saturn. Bred in the purple, the two-year-old son of super sire Galileo and Alpha Centauri, Saturn could be among the stars of the future.
“He’s pretty forward,” said Harrington. “She (Alpha Centauri) ran in May and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran in the middle to the end of May.
“It just depends on how it goes in the next couple of weeks, whether he has another growing spurt or gets a bit weak or something. It’ll be what it’ll be.
“He’s very mature in his mind and he does everything very easily.”
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Jessica Harrington has confirmed her Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Discoveries will not run again until next season.
The daughter of Mastercraftsman is bred in the purple as a full-sister to Alpha Centauri and a half-sister to Alpine Star – both Group One winners for Harrington and owner-breeders the Niarchos Family.
A winner on her second start at the Curragh in June, Discoveries could finish only third behind Agartha in last month’s Group Two Debutante Stakes but reversed that form to claim top-level honours on the second day of Irish Champions Weekend.
She is entered in the bet365 Fillies Mile at Newmarket on October 8, while she also had the option of running on Arc weekend in France or heading for the Breeders’ Cup – but she will now be saved for a Classic campaign.
Speaking after continuing her excellent run of form with a winner at Punchestown on Tuesday, Harrington told Racing TV: “Discoveries is not going to run again this year. She’s a big filly who has had four runs, and I think that’s enough for her.
“She’s won her Group One, and it would be terrible to go back and get beaten in another Group One, so I’m going to leave her be.
“That (1000 Guineas) is where she will go.”
Discoveries is a 16-1 shot for the 2022 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which Inspiral heads the market at 6-1.
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Discoveries provided Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley with yet another Irish Champions Weekend success in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Harrington and Foley teamed up for a treble at Leopardstown on Saturday, highlighted by the Group One victory of No Speak Alexander in the Matron Stakes.
Discoveries was sent off at 17-2 to emulate her, having finished third behind the reopposing Agartha in the Debutante Stakes over the course and distance just three weeks ago.
Agartha looked likely to follow up after seeing off a number of challengers, but she was unable to resist the late surge of Discoveries, with three-quarters of a length separating them at the line.
Harrington said: “To win two Group Ones this weekend is just something else.
“She’s a lovely filly. She’s completely different to her full-sister Alpha Centauri, who was a big grey.
“This filly has done a lot of growing and has a lovely temperament – she’s not as feisty as Alpha.
“Her half-sister Alpine Star was different again. How can I be so lucky to have three fillies out of the same mare that have all won Group Ones?
“This filly was green first time she ran and then she won her maiden. We hoped she’d win the Alpha Centauri Debutante, but the ground came up soft that day and she goes on top of the ground.”
Foley said: “I don’t want this weekend to end, it’s been phenomenal.
“I thought I’d get close to Declan (McDonogh, on Agartha) today as I was riding her a bit different on a bit of better ground. The plan was to sit closer to them and she was well drawn in stall eight as she likes a bit of room.
“She is a very, very good filly, there was no hiding place today and I knew she had stepped forward from the Debutante.
“She was quite green still and had never gone that fast in her life.”
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Beauty Inspire stamped himself out an exciting prospect when making a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes at the Curragh.
The Ger Lyons-trained youngster overcame his obvious inexperience to easily brush aside the opposition.
His reputation preceded him as Beauty Inspire was sent off the 16-5 favourite, and he holds an early-closing entry in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes over the same six furlongs in August.
Ultramarine and Up Above were among the early leaders, and the race looked wide open until Colin Keane produced the Mehmas colt on the far side.
Beauty Inspire crossed the line three and three-quarters to the good over Cowboy Justice, despite drifting towards the centre of the course.
“This horse came from Tally-Ho Stud very well prepared,” said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother.
“Ours improve for their first run. But in fairness to the boys (Tony and Roger O’Callaghan), he came well recommended – and how right they were.
“We don’t normally make early-closing entries for horses that have never run – but we did with this lad (in the Phoenix Stakes), because we have always liked him.
“His owners are from Hong Kong, and ultimately he will probably end up going there, but we are going to enjoy his two-year-old career. He’s smart and has always showed a very good temperament.”
Discoveries showed the benefit of a previous run when opening her account at the second attempt in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
The full sister to the brilliant Alpha Centauri and Alpine Star held the strong challenge of Aidan O’Brien’s Tuesday to take the seven-furlong contest by a short head.
The pair of them had the race between them after Discoveries (7-4 favourite) hit the front over a furlong out to deny the full sister to Minding and this year’s Irish 1,000 Guineas scorer Empress Joephine.
Jessica Harrington’s daughter of Mastercraftsman knuckled down to her task, and would not be denied under a drive from Shane Foley.
Owned by the Niarchos Family, Discoveries had finished fourth on her debut at Leopardstown three weeks ago, and the County Kildare trainer has big plans for her.
Harrington said: “She is keeping the family tradition going and is still very green. Being in front for so long probably didn’t suit her.
“She improved a lot from the first run to this race, and will improve again. The Debutante and the Moyglare are two races we have in mind for her.
“Shane felt she would be much better in a better race, where they could take her along. She’s very leery and looking at everything – a lot more than her other siblings.”
Ice Cold In Alex pounced late to claim victory in the Brady Family Supporting Barretstown Handicap, in the colours of Middleham Park Racing.
Ken Condon’s seven-year-old had not won since August 2018 but showed he still retains plenty of ability to beat 25 rivals in cosy fashion.
The 14-1 shot had plenty to do a furlong out but weaved his way through the field and went on to score by a length and a quarter from Dixie Bluebell in the hands of 5lb claimer Joey Sheridan.
Imposing Supreme was half a length away in third, with Hightimeyouwon a head back in fourth.
Sheridan said: “He was probably a bit unlucky the last day. Mr Condon said you can’t ride him safe – he needs all the luck, and thankfully he had all the luck today.
“I’m very grateful to Mr Condon and his owners Middleham Park, because it’s great to get rides like this on big weekends. It puts you in the shop window.”
The feature Bord Na Mona Recycling Apprentice Derby went to a Jim Bolger-trained winner for the third time in the last four years as Beyond Happy broke his duck at the fifth career attempt.
Luke McAteer was all smiles after his fine front-running ride as the 4-1 shot saw off a host of challengers in the straight and still had enough to repel outsider Allora Yeats close home, by a length and a quarter.
Bolger’s daughter Una Manning said: “It’s a prestigious race for apprentices, and nice to win a race like that on Derby weekend as well.
“The boss gave Luke his instructions before he went racing, and told him that he thought he would win.
“He’s a lightly-raced, nice type – and there should be more in him. He appreciated the step up in trip as well.”
Interpretation provided a first success of this year’s Irish Derby meeting for O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore when making much of the running and then keeping favourite Safecracker at bay by a length in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
O’Brien said of his 7-2 winner: “I think he’ll stay further and have no problem with a mile and a half anyway.
“Those type of horses can progress, and he went to the line with his ears pricked.”
Sheridan completed a double when the front-running Longbourn won the TRI Equestrian Handicap for trainer Ross O’Sullivan, at 9-1 and by a length and three-quarters from Solene Lilyette.
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