Horses To Follow » Buttons


Buttons did well to get as close as she did to Wendla at Leopardstown on Sunday in the Group 3 Al Shira’aa Racing ‘Mutamakina’ Stakes, the 1000 Guineas Trial. She was settled nicely towards the rear of the field early on by Wayne Lordan, but the early pace was not strong. Colin Keane was able to dictate sedate fractions on Wendla in front, including a third furlong of 14.68secs and a fourth furlong of 14.14secs, with the result that it was always going to be difficult for the hold-up horses. Moved towards the outside as they raced around the home turn, Buttons picked up well in the home straight. Sixth of the seven runners when they straightened up, she finished off her race best of all, getting to within three parts of a length of Wendla by the time they got to the winning line.

A game winner of her maiden on her only run at two, Aidan O’Brien’s filly shaped well on her debut this season, staying on well to take third place behind A Lilac Rolla and Kitty Rose in the other 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in early April, again doing best of the hold-up fillies. She will be of interest now when she can get a strong pace at which to aim, and possibly a stiffer test. She holds entries in the Irish Guineas and the Coronation Stakes, as well as in the Oaks and the Irish Oaks and the Ribblesdale Stakes. Her dam won the Cheshire Oaks and finished second in the Epsom Oaks, and third in the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks, so she could get a mile and a half, but the Coronation Stakes could suit her well too, around a bend and up the hill at Ascot, where hold-up tactics are often rewarded.

Leopardstown, 12th May 2024