Pearls And Rubies books Royal Ascot ticket with smart Navan win

Pearls And Rubies will head to Royal Ascot as an exciting proposition for Aidan O’Brien following a very promising debut success at Navan.

An imposing daughter of No Nay Never, Ryan Moore let her find her feet in the five-furlong Lynn Lodge Stud Irish EBF Maiden, as up front Lightening Army took them along.

Keeping close tabs on the leaders was 6-5 favourite I Am Invictus, who looked like getting his head in front when leading over a furlong out, having filled the runner-up spot behind O’Brien’s Coventry Stakes-bound River Tiber first time out.

But Pearls And Rubies (3-1) started to find top gear late in the day, coming home really well to get the verdict by a neck from Michael O’Callaghan’s charge.

O’Brien said: “We thought she was very smart, we had it in our head could she be an Ascot filly.

“Obviously, she needed experience badly. We came here to see if she would be forward enough for Ascot. Ryan rode her accordingly and left her alone and educated her. She could be an Albany filly.

“She has won there and doesn’t even realise she has raced yet. She just kept coming and finished off very strong.

“She’s obviously a filly with plenty of class.”

There was a double on the card for O’Brien and Moore with Canute (10-11 favourote) in the Royal County Handicap.

O’Brien said: “He had a good run the last day. You have to be very happy with him.

“He’s improving and we might have a look at something in Ascot for him, maybe one of those three-year-old handicaps.

“I was asking Ryan if a mile or a mile and a quarter was his trip, and he said maybe a mile and a quarter. He’s not stuck to the ground, either.”

Cadeau Belle was a Listed winner for Johnny Murtagh when obliging in the Darley Irish EBF Kooyonga Stakes.

Murtagh – who confirmed Ladies Church on course for the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot – said of his Ben Cohen-ridden 9-1 winner: “She won a maiden nicely and Ben said he liked her and he doesn’t say it too often!

“Ben rode her work last week and thought she had improved. It was a very competitive Listed race today and I was hoping she could come on, she was a little bit unexposed, but that was a very good performance.

“I’m delighted for Tony Smurfit, he bought her after the last race. In fairness, he picked her out and said he liked the look of her. It is always nice when you sell one on and they go and improve.

“I think she is a nice filly in the making. We will have a look and see what is around Derby weekend. She deserves a step up into Group Three class now.”

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