Matrika confirmed herself out as filly of considerable talent when returning to home soil to claim the Airlie Stud Stakes in convincing fashion at the Curragh.
Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of No Nay Never was a course and distance winner on debut in late May and went on to be narrowly denied by Donnacha O’Brien’s Porta Fortuna when second in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on just her second start.
Despite this coming only eight days after her huge Ascot effort, Matrika was sent off the 2-5 favourite and proved she was a cut above her opposition in this Group Two contest.
She led those who raced on the far side with the field splitting into two groups, before stretching clear in the hands of Ryan Moore inside the final furlong, as she registered a one-and-three-quarter length victory over the keeping-on Gunzburg.
“She has a great constitution and we were very happy with her,” said O’Brien.
“The first day she ran we were surprised because she’s very lazy at home, we didn’t really know what to expect but she won.
“Then she went to Ascot and ran a lovely race, but was a little green and babyish. Obviously she learned plenty from it again.
“She came out of the race, lost no weight. She doesn’t blow at all, it takes nothing out of her – she’s very natural. Ryan gave her a lovely ride.
“She’s not slow, she has plenty of speed. Obviously you’d hope that she might get seven, because she is very relaxed, but she is No Nay Never and they have a lot of natural speed and find it very easy to go very fast.”
Matrika was cut to 14-1 from 16s by Coral for next year’s 1000 Guineas with Betfair going even further and making her an 8-1 chance for the fillies’ Classic, but O’Brien is no rush to step her up in trip.
“We’ll stay at six for a while and if we have to step up to seven we will,” continued the Ballydoyle handler.
“I don’t want to be too easy on her because she has a big backside on her and I don’t want her to get too big. We’ll have to keep her going to a point.
“She’s a Group Two winner now and there are probably not too many places we’ll be able to go with her. You’d be hoping she’s going to be a Cheveley Park filly.”