Lightening Pearl delights Lyons as 1000 Guineas looms

Ger Lyons could not be happier with Lightening Pearl as he prepares the Group One-winning filly for the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6.

The daughter of Marju landed the Cheveley Park Stakes on her final start as a juvenile when attentions were immediately turned towards the Guineas.

Lyons admits he is in the dark over her stamina but her preparation has gone according to plan, and she came through a gallop after racing at Leopardstown on Sunday with flying colours.

“I was very happy with her. Johnny Murtagh rode her, it was three weeks to the day to the Guineas and she’s where I want her to be.

“It was a good solid piece of work. I decided not to run her in the trial as I didn’t want her to have a hard race, she’s a Group One winner after all and has nothing to prove.

“As it turns out, Johnny said she went so well in the work she’d probably have won it anyway.

“Her big day is the Guineas, though, and she’s coming to herself the same way she did before the Cheveley Park.

“I hope to see her come in her coat soon but I couldn’t be happier with her.

“Some say it’s the last two-year-old race of the season and I tend to agree, then it’s all about who’ll get the trip and that’s anyone’s guess.

“I’m just delighted to have one good enough to be going over.”

Lyons, however, is not getting carried away by the Classic claims of Oh So Lucy.

The impeccably bred three-year-old filly, a daughter of Galileo out of Group One winner Miss Beatrix, holds entries in the Irish Guineas and Oaks.

She shaped nicely in three maidens last season, all of which have worked out well, specifically the latter at Dundalk which was won by Aidan O’Brien’s Wading.

“Oh So Lucy worked with Lightening Pearl yesterday,” said Lyons.

“She’s a nice filly but the Irish handicapper is no fool and has given her a rating of 85 which is some 30lb shy of being a Classic horse.

“Her form has worked out very well and her pedigree is excellent, but she’s still a maiden after three races.

“She’s no Lightening Pearl and while she’ll make up into a nice filly, I don’t think the handicapper is ever that far away.”

lA field of 13, headed by Mick Channon’s Group One winner Nayarra, will go to post for tomorrow’s Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

The Cape Cross filly signed off last season by winning the Premio Gran Criterium in Italy and will be ridden by Martin Dwyer. Channon also runs Lady Gorgeous and Muaamara.

Godolphin run two, Pimpernel (Frankie Dettori) and Minidress (Mickael Barzalona), from a strong team of Classic fillies.

Richard Fahey’s Lily’s Angel, so durable last year, will be ridden by Paul Hanagan while Bryan Smart’s Excelette and Kevin Ryan’s What’s Up also travel down from the north.

John Gosden runs the once-raced Starscope while Michael Stoute is represented by Russelliana.

Regal Realm runs for Jeremy Noseda with Esentepe and Sunday Times completing the field.

lRoger Charlton is eagerly awaiting the reappearance of his 2000 Guineas hope Top Offer in Saturday’s Aon Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

The Dansili colt made a taking winning debut at the Berkshire track last August but has not been seen since due to a setback at the end of last season.

Charlton pinpointed the Greenham some time ago and his name appeared amongst 16 entries for the seven-furlong Group Three race, which was won by Frankel 12 months ago

“He’s in good form,” said Charlton. “As far as I’m concerned a trial is like a prep, rather than a test and I hope the Greenham will put him right for the Guineas, should he be good enough.”

Richard Hannon’s Bronterre, fourth in the Dewhurst, is likely to provide stiff competition while Alan McCabe’s Caspar Netscher is another possible.

Fencing, Tales Of Grimm and Mighty Ambition are others of note.

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