Opera Singer hits all the right notes at the Curragh

Opera Singer looks a filly destined to compete at the highest level after blitzing her rivals in the Newtownanner Stud Irish EBF Stakes at the Curragh.

The winner of a Leopardstown maiden on her second career start last month, the daughter of Justify was then narrowly denied by Paddy Twomey’s unbeaten juvenile A Lilac Rolla in a Curragh conditions race.

Stepping up to Group Three level, Opera Singer was the even-money favourite in the hands of Seamie Heffernan and rocketed six and a half lengths clear of stablemate Brilliant in scintillating style.

“She’s a lovely filly and she’s had a few lovely runs,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“She had a lovely run the first day and then the second day she ran a stormer as well. Ryan (Moore) thought he was going to beat the winner the last day, the line just came a little bit soon but she’s come forward lovely.

“These Justifys improve, the minute they go up in distance they take off.”

When asked if Newmarket’s Fillies’ Mile could be a target, he added: “I’d say she’s that kind of filly, straightforward and goes forward.”

O’Brien and Heffernan completed a Group Three double on the card with the tough-as-teak Red Riding Hood in the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes.

After cutting out much of the running, the 14-1 shot looked beaten after being given a reminder early in the straight and then being passed by 9-4 favourite American Sonja – but she battled back bravely against the rail to get back up and secure victory by a neck.

O’Brien’s representative Chris Armstrong said: “In fairness to Seamus he gave her a powerful ride, she’s not a straightforward filly.

“She has stacks of ability but though probably weakness and immaturity it’s only starting to come to the fore now.

“She’ll probably come back here on Champions Weekend for the Blandford Stakes and see how we go. Hopefully that will be a good confidence-booster for her and it’s onwards and upwards.”

The Twomey-trained Letsbefrankaboutit also justified favouritism in the the Heider Family Stables Round Tower Stakes.

The Sioux Nation colt was well touted ahead of his introduction over the course and distance a fortnight ago and while he had to make do with minor honours in third, he offered plenty of hope for the future.

He was a 2-1 market leader in this six-furlong Group Three and proved half a length too strong for Mansa Musa, with Billy Lee the winning pilot.

“He learned a lot the last day when he had to race on his own, he won his race,” said Twomey.

“He was a bit babyish before the race the last day but he was very good today, didn’t put a foot wrong, and did what I hoped he’d do.

“It takes a lot for me to run a maiden in a Group Three but I just thought he might be fit for it.

“He’s entered in everything and we’ll see how he is, I think he’ll be a nice horse in time.”

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