Mooneista will test her Royal Ascot credentials as she lines up in Sunday’s Goffs Lacken Stakes at Naas.
The three-year-old secured a first Listed success when taking on older horses in the Woodlands Stakes over the minimum trip at the track last month and she will now switch back up to six furlongs in Group Three company.
Trainer Jack Davison is eager to see how his charge, who is owned and bred by his parents, fares – with a crack at Group One competition in next month’s Commonwealth Cup a possibility.
He said: “I’m actually working back from the Commonwealth Cup since the Woodlands Stakes. I decided that if we were to consider going for a Group One at Royal Ascot, we needed to up our game a bit, so from Listed into Group company is a good progression. That is the thought process behind it and going for the Lacken Stakes on Sunday.
“She did it nicely (in the Woodlands), but it was a story you couldn’t have written to be honest.
“Between my parents owning Mooneista’s dam, Moon Unit, and breeding Mooneista from her, and then Dandy Man, who is Mooneista’s sire, being second to Moon Unit in the Woodlands Stakes. And of course my parents bred the trainer as well!
“Mooneista continues to be progressive. I think we have to see the best of her, but I prefer to let the horse do the talking. She goes to Naas pending a bit of work, but she has been in flying form since winning and couldn’t be better.”
The Lacken Stakes is one of the highlights on the track’s Royal Ascot Trials Day and the prize has drawn 18 entries, including A Case Of You, Laws Of Indices and another course-and-distance winner in Pale Iris.
Aidan O’Brien could field impressive Naas scorer Contarelli Chapel in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes, with Freedom Of Speech a possible for the Guineas-winning connections of Jim and Jackie Bolger after her win at the track last Saturday.
O’Brien could also hold the key to the Coolmore Stud Calyx Race as cosy Dundalk winner Cadamosto features among 11 contenders.
The Sole Power Sprint Stakes includes a host of familiar names headed by Make A Challenge, Urban Beat, Indigo Balance and Harry’s Bar, while 21 are in contention for the Owenstown Stud Stakes over seven furlongs, with Harpocrates, Lunar Space and Darwell Lion taking the eye.