Snellen seeking to make Debutante impact

Royal Ascot winner Snellen puts her unbeaten record on the line when she steps up in grade for the Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

Gavin Cromwell’s daughter of Expert Eye made a winning bow at Limerick in June and was immediately sent to Royal Ascot where she quickly added to her tally in the Chesham Stakes.

Having given a glimpse of her potential in those two early outings, the classy youngster now moves in to Group Two company following a break, with a big autumn lying ahead of her.

“We gave her a short break after Ascot and she’s done well since and we’re looking forward to Saturday,” said Cromwell.

“She’s going to have to come forward, but we’re hopeful she has done. Everything has been straightforward with her since Ascot.

“We gave her a break after Ascot to plan an autumn campaign and hopefully this is just the start of it.”

Pearls And Rubies was sent off the 7-4 favourite when beaten a head by Snellen in the Chesham and Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of No Nay Never is likely to be a warm order once again following a further silver medal in the Anglesey Stakes.

That most recent outing came over six and a half furlongs, but she returns to slightly further now on the advice of her big-race pilot Ryan Moore in a race the stable have a fine record in.

“She’s in good form and she won’t mind an ease in the ground either,” said the master of Ballydoyle.

“We were a little bit disappointed with her the last day but Ryan (Moore) said to maybe go a bit further, he said she was coming home well but the line just came too quick for her.”

She is the sole Ballydoyle representative, while Willie McCreery’s Vespertilio and Donnacha O’Brien’s Mysteries finished second and third behind Ylang Ylang in the Silver Flash Stakes last month and will be hoping to take advantage of the 1000 Guineas favourite’s absence here.

Mysteries’ handler felt his filly paid the price for trying to take on Ylang Ylang at Leopardstown and different tactics will be employed on this occasion.

O’Brien said: “We will probably ride her a bit more patiently this time and we probably rode her to try to beat Ylang Ylang at Leopardstown and maybe paid for it.

“She’s in good form and we have always thought she is a nice filly, so hopefully she will run well.”

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