Horses To Follow » Up


Aidan O’Brien has a bit of a stranglehold on the three-year-old division at present, not least with his fillies, and another interesting one emerged on the big stage on Sunday when Up ran a fine race to finish second to the much-vaunted Beauty Parlour in the Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches, the French 1000 Guineas, at Longchamp.

Drawn 14 of 14, a terrible draw at turning Longchamp, especially over a mile, Up was immediately restrained from the stalls by Joseph O’Brien, but she initially wanted to go a little faster as she went wide on the first turn. She soon settled better but she had to race very wide all the way around the prolonged home turn, and she was further back than ideal as they entered the home straight, a situation that was exacerbated by her appearing to lug to her right at the top of the home straight with Joseph having to take a few strides to pull her out. She picked up really well in the final two furlongs, despite being carried right by the edging-in Fire Lily, to get to within a length of Beauty Parlour, who had the complete run of the race.

Up had finished a close-up third behind Homecoming Queen in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial on her previous run, and she turned the form around here with Fire Lily, who had finished just in front of her at Leopardstown, back up at a mile. She is a Galileo half-sister to Dutch Art, it is probably no coincidence that she improved for the step back up to a mile, and the way she finished here suggests she may well improve for a further step up in trip now to 10 furlongs. Whether or not she will stay the mile and a half of the Oaks is obviously not certain at this stage, but she would have to be respected now were she to run in either the English or Irish versions. It may be that 10 furlongs is her trip though, and the Pretty Polly could be the race for her.

13th May 2012