Horses To Follow » Villanova Queen

Villanova Queen

Villanova Queen looked good in winning the seven-and-a-half-furlong contest at Tipperary last Thursday. Fifth of the six runners early on, she came under a ride from Shane Foley at the top of the home straight, but she made nice progress towards the leaders. Taken to the outside at the two-furlong marker, it took her a few strides to build momentum but she picked up well, she hit the front deep inside the final furlong before surging on to win by a half a length.

It was a strong performance by Jessica Harrington’s filly, a performance of quality in a good race – five of the six runners were rated 100 or higher – on her first run since last May. That run was in the Irish 1000 Guineas, in which she was quietly fancied at big prices after the performance that she put up in finishing a close-up third behind Homeless Songs in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial last April. It didn’t happen for her in the Guineas, she was close up early on before she faded. It was probable that that just wasn’t her running and, given a nice break by her trainer, she proved that here. She should be able to build on this now, she could morph into a high-class filly, and she has lots of options. She holds entries in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown over a mile and in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York over 10 and a half furlongs. She does shape as if she will get further than a mile, and she would be interesting in the Middleton Stakes, against her own gender.
Tipperary, 20th April 2023