Lillie Langtry preview: Wild Irish Rose bidding to blossom

Thu 3 Aug 2017

Wild Irish Rose will bid to complete a hat-trick of wins and break new ground for trainer Aidan O'Brien in the Markel Insurance Fillies' Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday.

The Group Three contest over a mile and three-quarters is better known as the Lillie Langtry, and is one of the few races of note the Ballydoyle trainer has yet to win.

Getting off the mark at the ninth attempt of asking in a Fairyhouse handicap, the daughter of Galileo has since followed that up with a Listed success at Leopardstown.

O'Brien said: "Wild Irish Rose won a Listed race last time and is a filly that is progressing. Obviously this is a step up in grade, but we are looking forward to seeing her run

"She won nicely the last day, even though she didn't win by very far. Ana (O'Brien) has ridden her in all her races and said to me the time before she won that she was a filly that didn't respond to the stick and that it would be better to ride her without using the stick.

"She then ran and won at Fairyhouse without using the stick, then she ran again and progressed again to win a Listed race. She tries very hard, but doesn't like getting hit with the stick. This was new territory last time, but we always thought she would stay this trip."

Connections of the Luca Cumani-trained Aljezeera believe they are on "fact-finding mission" with the twice-raced daughter of Frankel.

After making a winning debut at Doncaster in August, the three-year-old returned with a third in a Listed contest at Newbury in May.

Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "Aljezeera is an interesting filly. She ran well on Lockinge day on ground that didn't suit her at all.

"She looks like a filly that stays well, but Luca feels she is still yet to come to herself as sometimes her home work is not as good as he would like.

"We want to give her a go over this trip and Luca's are running well. The race is the right sort of race for her, but she just keeps giving different messages at home.

"She has does little wrong as a three-year-old. Hopefully she will run well, but we are on a bit of a fact-finding mission."

Ralph Beckett, who won the race back in 2015 with subsequent St Leger winner Simple Verse, is responsible for Alyssa, Diamonds Pour Moi, Melodic Motion and Rich Legacy.

Completing the field are Dawn Horizons (William Haggas), Dubka (Sir Michael Stoute), Endless Time (Charlie Appleby), Harlequeen (Mick Channon), Lucy The Painter (Ed de Giles) and Natural Scenery (Saeed bin Suroor).

Appleby said of Endless Time, who was 10th in the Ascot Gold Cup last time out: "The more rain the better for her, as she loves it. She is a soft-ground specialist, to be fair. She brings a better level of form to the table in soft conditions.

"I don't think she saw the two and a half out in the Gold Cup. Coming back in trip against her own sex on this ground, I think she will be a live player."

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