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Pearls Galore has Foret venture in sights

The Prix de la Foret may be next on the agenda for Pearls Galore following her narrow defeat in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

After successive Group Three wins at Fairyhouse and Tipperary, Paddy Twomey’s filly stepped up to Group One level for the first time on Saturday – and ran an excellent race to finish a neck behind No Speak Alexander, and just over a length ahead of Mother Earth.

Pearls Galore is entered in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 2, but is more likely to be seen in action at ParisLongchamp the following afternoon.

Twomey said: “I was delighted with her. She hasn’t put a foot wrong all year.

“I’d say the plan is to go for the Foret in France, as long as the ground isn’t too soft.

“Her owners are French-based, and they might like to see her in Paris.”

The Cashel-based trainer had just three runners across Irish Champions Weekend – with Limiti Di Greccio beaten just half a length in a Listed event at Leopardstown before La Petite Coco’s short-head victory over Love in Sunday’s Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

Limiti Di Greccio (orange) also ran well in defeat
Limiti Di Greccio (orange) also ran well in defeat (Brian Lawless/PA)

Limiti Di Greccio is entered in the Rockfel Stakes and the Cheveley Park at Newmarket next week, but is set to remain in Ireland.

“She has a couple of entries at Newmarket and is entered in the Boussac in France, but I think she might stay at home,” Twomey added.

“She could go for the Silken Glider (Staffordstown Stud Stakes), which is a Listed race at the Curragh we won with Fantasy Lady last year, or there’s the Weld Park Stakes.

“One of those options might be more where we’ll go, but we haven’t quite decided with her yet.”

La Petite Coco, meanwhile, is bound for next month’s Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.

Twomey said: “She seems in great form and has come out of the race very well.

“She’s a filly that has progressed all year, so it was great to continue on an upward trajectory.

“Ascot has been the plan from the middle of the season onwards, and that very much remains the case.

“If the ground came up soft, it would inconvenience other horses more than her.”

Pearls Galore sparkles in Fairy Bridge Stakes

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.”

Pearls Galore picks up Brownstown prize

Pearls Galore set up a top-level target in running out a ready winner of the Group Three Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse for Billy Lee and Paddy Twomey.

The four-year-old started her campaign with a third-placed finish in the Ballycorus Stakes, run at the same grade and over the same seven-furlong trip at Leopardstown, and was subsequently at the head of the market as 15-8 favourite.

Galloping into contention two furlongs from home, the filly locked horns with Jessica Harrington’s Valeria Messalina before pulling away as the post approached to cross the line two lengths ahead of the latter horse.

“She’s a very well-bred filly and this race has been the plan all year as I wanted to make her a Group winner,” said Twomey.

“I have her in the Matron (Stakes, Leopardstown) and I’d say that will probably be the plan.

“Good ground or better is essential for her and she won’t show up otherwise.

“I made that mistake last year and even running on the all-weather her foot goes in too far, she just likes to ping off the top of it.

“Barring the day I ran her on the all-weather she’s never put a foot wrong.

“There’s not a lot of her there, she’s not very big.

“I’d say it’s unlikely she would run again before the Matron.”