Classic star? 1,000 Guineas favourite Goddess faces Group 3 assignment
Goddess, who delivered arguably the most impressive performance by a two-year-old in Ireland this year when blitzing her rivals by ten lengths a fortnight ago, returns to Leopardstown on Thursday for the Group 3 Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes (6.35).
Goddess went like a flash over course and distance to win her maiden in impressive last time, a performance which saw her be introduced as the favourite for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas.
She is between a 10-1 and 16-1 shot for the Newmarket Classic and is out to follow up her impressive victory against half a dozen rivals.
The daughter of Derby winner Camelot, she is also a 20-1 shot with bet365 for the Investec Oaks.
Unlucky in running on her debut at the Curragh, where she was denied a clear run on several occasions, Goddess made all when winning her maiden, after which Seamie Heffernan described her as being "well above average".
Speaking on Wednesday, her trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "When Seamie rode Goddess first time out he said she would have won nicely but for getting boxed in and getting no run.
"She won well last time and we've been happy with her since. This will be a bigger test for her but she seems in good form and we're looking forward to learning more about her."
Ryan Moore rides Goddess, while O'Brien is also represented by Secret Thoughts, partnered by his son Donnacha, as he bids to land this prize for the 11th time.
He added: "Secret Thoughts will be going the distance for the first time. A fine big filly who should be suited by the trip, we think she's improving and that she will progress from the run."
Jessica Harrington is represented by Sparkle'n'joy, who came good over six furlongs at Naas on her third start.
The trainer reported: "She won well at Naas and is in good form. We're hoping for a good run and if she can get some black type we'll be delighted."
Skitter Skatter has been placed at this and at Listed level since winning her maiden at Dundalk, and her trainer Patrick Prendergast said: "She came out of her last race well and is in good form.
"She's honest and straightforward and we're confident of a good run, although it's not going to be easy."
Between them O'Brien and Jim Bolger have been the dominant forces in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes (7.10), and they supply three of the five runners in Thursday's renewal of the juvenile event, which is also over seven furlongs.
O'Brien, who is going for a fifth consecutive win in the race, is represented by Anthony Van Dyck, an eight-length winner over a mile at Killarney 11 days ago.
O'Brien said of the son of Galileo: "Anthony Van Dyck is dropping down in trip. We've been happy with him since Killarney and, while he should do well back over a longer trip later on, he's in good form and should gain valuable experience."
Bolger, whose winners of the race include Teofilo and New Approach, runs Bold Approach, a course and distance winner on his only previous start in May, and Copia Verborum, beaten on his two starts since scoring on debut over the trip at the Curragh last month.
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