Ante-post Qipco 1,000 Guineas favourite Ylang Ylang bids to remain unbeaten when she lines up against five rivals in the Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Frankel was an eyecatching odds-on winner of a seven-furlong Curragh maiden on debut, prompting bookmakers to place her at the head of the market for next season’s Newmarket fillies’ Classic.
She will be a warm order for her second start, again over seven furlongs, as she steps into Group Three company.
Mysteries, trained by Aidan’s son, Donnacha O’Brien, has a little more experience with two runs under her belt and steps up in trip, having won a Cork maiden over six furlongs on her second start.
O’Brien feels the No Nay Never filly will benefit from the extra distance.
“We think she is a nice filly,” he said. “Everything has gone well with her since her last run and this has been her target.
“We think the step up to seven (furlongs) will suit her and we are looking forward to getting her out again.”
Should all go well, Mysteries will follow a tried and tested route for a top-class filly.
“The Debutante and Moyglare at the logical next steps with a filly like that,” he added.
“We will probably be running into Dad’s fillies the whole way along the way, but we have to meet them eventually.
“Ylang Ylang looks like a smart filly, but they all have to prove themselves when they step up in class, so we’ll learn a lot.”
Asked what it was like to beat his all-conquering father, Donnacha laughed: “It’s just the same as beating anyone else – it just doesn’t happen as often!”
Ylang Ylang will take on four previous winners with Lady Craftsman coming back from a mile after success at Bellewstown for Adrian Murray, while Donnacha’s brother, Joseph, saddles Royal Ascot’s Chesham Stakes seventh Nemonte and Ado McGuinness is represented by Rush Queen, a Listowel winner over six and a half furlongs on her penultimate run.
The field is completed by Willie McCreery’s Vespertilio, who was placed in a Fairyhouse maiden on debut.
Eleven stand their ground for the featured seven-furlong Group Two Romanised Minstrel Stakes, saved from Sunday’s abandoned card at the Curragh.
They are headed by the Juddmonte-owned Zarinsk and the Aga Khan’s Tarawa, who finished first and second in the Cornelscourt Stakes at the same track over a mile in May.
There is a high-quality sextet for the preceding Group Three Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes, where Aidan O’Brien saddles both Mountain Bear and Henry Adams, who will be blinkered after taking a Naas maiden on debut.
Islandsinthestream, who similarly scored on debut at the Curragh, bids to follow up for Joseph O’Brien, but Donnacha O’Brien is hoping that Devious can return to winning form.
A Naas five-furlong winner on his first start, Devious then finished sixth in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot, followed by a below-par run behind Bucanero Fuerte in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh.
“He won well first time out. He ran well in the Norfolk, I suppose. He was a little out-paced early and ran home well, but I was a bit disappointed at the Curragh,” said O’Brien.
“His last two runs have been probably below what we thought he was capable of.
“Both of those times was on very quick ground, and probably the trip was a bit sharp for him, so we think with a little bit of juice in the ground and up to seven (furlongs) will suit him, so hopefully he bounces back.”