Horses To Follow » Lillie Langtry

Lillie Langtry

There was a lot to like about the performance that Lillie Langtry put up in landing the Group 3 race for juvenile fillies at Naas on Monday. Settled well in behind runners, the Ballydoyle filly had the speed and the courage to go through a small enough gap that presented itself at the two-furlong pole. She took it up off Wrong Answer inside the final furlong, and looked very strong in surging to the front and coming home two and a half lengths clear of old rival Kitty Kiernan.

It is unusual for a filly to have an old rival after just two starts, but it was Kitty Kiernan who came out on top when this pair met over this course and distance in mid-May, when both fillies were making their racecourse debuts. Even though she was beaten, Lillie Langtry made a really encouraging debut, keeping on nicely from well off the pace to take second place, but without ever looking likely to catch the Bolger filly. In fairness to Kitty Kiernan, she probably wasn’t at home on the fast ground on Monday. She is by Pivotal, whose progeny generally like a little bit of ease, and she seemed to relish the cut in the ground that she had on her debut. By contrast, Lillie Langtree bounced off the fast ground on Monday, despite the fact that she is by Danehill Dancer, whose progeny, like Pivotal’s, are not generally averse to a bit of cut.

She looks like a really smart filly, and it would be surprising if she did not progress markedly again now from this. It is interesting that she is entered in the top class colts’ races, the Railway Stakes and the Phoenix Stakes, but she could run next in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot against her own sex. Last year, Cuis Ghaire won this same Naas race before going on to land the Albany.

1st June 2009