Horses To Follow » Long Lashes

Long Lashes

The Ballygallon Stud Stakes at The Curragh on Friday evening looked well up to its listed race billing at least. The Jim Bolger-trained favourite, Gold Bubbles, had beaten Air Chief Marshal and had finished second to Steinbeck in her two previous runs, Famous, a sister to Mastercraftsman, had finished second on her only previous start, while Elusive Galaxy, trained by Ger Lyons, whose horses can do little wrong these days, who had won her only previous start. However, it was the only newcomer in the race, the Jessica Harrington-trained Long Lashes, who came out on top, and she came out on top on merit.

Fran Berry took a tug on the Rock Hard Ten filly on leaving the stalls and settled her in behind in the early stages. Sixth of the seven runners but no more than two lengths off the pace passing the two-furlong pole, it was obvious that Berry had plenty of horse under him but it wasn’t certain that a gap would appear or how much the filly would find on her racecourse debut if it did. The gap opened outside Elusive Galaxy just outside the furlong pole and Long Lashes improved impressively through it to tackle the leader, taking it up 150 yards out and running on really strongly three off the rail on the easy ground to win going away by more than two lengths.

It is not surprising that Long Lashes was able to handle this easy ground. Her sire finished second to Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes and was a multiple Grade 1 winner on dirt, but her year-older sister, Mythical Border, ran a cracker to finish third in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster last year on soft ground, and was well fancied for the Cheveley Park on the back of that run. Long Lashes saw out this six-furlong trip well, there was a lot to like about the attitude that she displayed and her professionalism on her racecourse debut, and she should improve for this experience. She doesn’t have the action of a pure soft ground filly, and there is no reason why she can’t be just as effective on better ground. She is an exciting prospect, and all the top class juvenile fillies’ races, like the Cherry Hinton and the Cheveley Park, and even the Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs, have to be on her agenda now.

© The Irish Field, 4th July 2009