Horses To Follow » Valeria Messalina

Valeria Messalina

Valeria Messalina battled on well to win the Brownstown Stakes. Settled just behind the front rank and towards the near side early on by Shane Foley, she travelled well to the two-furlong pole and she picked up nicely when her rider gave her a squeeze. She hit the front on the run to the furlong marker, and she kept on well from there all the way to the line. She only got home by a half a length in the end from Unforgetable and Soul Search, but she may have only just been doing enough. She may have won with a little bit more in hand than the bare winning margin.

Jessica Harrington’s filly was a nicely-regarded filly last season, but she didn’t make her racecourse debut until September, and she remained a little under the radar, as more high-profile stable companions, fellow juvenile fillies Albigna and Alpine Star and Millisle and even Cayenne Pepper took the limelight. But she battled on well on that racecourse debut at Naas too to hold off the late challenge of subsequent winner Now The King. It was significant that Jessica Harrington sent her to Newmarket on just her second run, to contest the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, and she put up a big performance there to run last week’s Musidora Stakes winner Rose Of Kildare to a neck. She ran well for a long way in the Irish 1000 Guineas on her debut this season, and this was a nice step forward from that.

A half-sister to Pincheck, a Group 3 winner over a mile, the Airlie Stud filly’s dam won over 10 furlongs and a mile and a half, so she is worth trying back over a mile. She has raced just four times, she has lots of potential to progress now anyway, and she will be interesting again now, stepped back up in grade.

Cork, 12th July 2020