John Oxx has his fingers crossed Emiyna has made sufficient improvement to take a hand at the business end of the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday.
The Aga Khan-owned filly has done nothing wrong this term, moving on from success in a Dundalk maiden to a Group Three victory against her elders at the Curragh earlier this month.
As well as tackling the top level for the first time, Emiyna is stepping up from seven furlongs to a mile.
“She is proven to an extent in that she’s won a Group Three and has shown a good turn of foot,” said Oxx.
“She’s fairly adaptable ground-wise and should go the extra furlong. She’s got to improve.
“You get the good fillies at this time of year start to progress and the rest stay where they are.
“The race will be won by the one that can move on from their previous form.
“We hope she can do that as she needs to come on another 7lb to be fighting out the finish, but we’re happy with her.”
The Currabeg trainer believes his other runner, History Note, has more to find.
After making a winning debut in Curragh maiden in October, she was third in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial on her reappearance.
“Our other runner there probably has to come on a bit more – about a stone from her last run – but it was a good run at Leopardstown where she was unlucky and learned a lot on the day,” added Oxx.
“We’ve given her a nice break since then. She’s working well and seems to be on the upgrade.
“We’ll just to have find out how much she has improved by.”
While the two Oxx runners are going up in distance, the reverse is the case for Jim Bolger’s hope, Banimpire.
She is already enjoying a profitable year, running out a surprise winner of the 10-furlong Ballysax Stakes before striking gold again at both Gowran Park and Naas.
“She’s in good form and has been running well. Her form is good,” said Bolger.
“I’m happy with her and she doesn’t lack toe, so I’d hope she’ll be all right back over a mile.
“We hope she has a good chance.”
The Coolcullen maestro also saddles recent Naas maiden winner Claiomh Solais and is looking forward to stepping her up in grade.
“She is stepping up but she won well at Naas and is a good filly. Hopefully she has a chance,” Bolger added.
Kevin Prendergast has an enviable hand with three in the field.
Stable jockey Declan McDonogh has chosen to ride Handassa, beaten into fourth when favourite for the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown.
“She did everything wrong last time and you wouldn’t have to be Einstein to see that,” said Prendergast.
“She got left at the start and jumped the road and did everything queer. She gave herself no chance on the day.
“She was still only beaten around four lengths having given them 12 lengths start.”
Rose Bonheur steps up in grade following a couple of victories in lesser company, while Seeharn was third in the Athasi Stakes last time.
“Rose Bonheur is in good shape and has won her last two. She hasn’t been out of the first two in four starts,” Prendergast continued.
“She’s been running over five and six furlongs but her dam won over a mile and this filly only got beat a short head over seven furlongs last year, so we’re hoping for a big run from her.
“It’s a step up for her but she deserves to take her chance.
“Seeharn was third in the Athasi when we probably made a bit too much use of her.
“We’ll ride her with a little bit more restraint this weekend and see if she can come home.”
Pat Fahy’s Ballybacka Lady was a shock winner of the Guineas Trial, but the trainer believes that victory has earned her a tilt at Classic success.
“We were a bit surprised she won the last day, to be honest. We’d have been happy if she’d been third and picked up some black type,” said Fahy.
“To win it like she did was a bit of a shock, but we were delighted all the same and off the back of that, she deserves to take her chance.”