Jessica Harrington has enjoyed a remarkable season, with Sizing John recording an unprecedented treble in the Irish Gold Cup, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup, whilst she unearthed another chaser with star-quality in Our Duke who romped to success despite carrying a weight that has stopped several decent horses in that race in the past.
However, whilst it’s her National Hunt highlights that have captured the public’s imaginations, she also continues to be a one of Ireland’s top-10 flat trainers, enjoying multiple group successes over the last few seasons.
She sent just 5 runners to the Cheltenham Festival, but had three winners. Therefore, as she prepares a similarly small raiding party for Royal Ascot, it seems wise to take a look at a trainer who remains in red-hot form, but is still looking for that elusive first Royal Ascot winner.
A two-year-old filly by Matercraftsman, who is set to run in the Albany Stakes after impressing with both her form and her relaxed attitude – a combination that has earmarked her as a perfect arrow to target at Royal Ascot. Harrington thinks she’s every bit as good a two-year-old as the likes of Laughing Lashes and Pathfork, and she shouldn’t be faraway of the ground doesn’t get too firm.
A two-year-old by Kodiac, who is set to take on the some of the best two-year-old colts around in the Coventry Stakes after winning his maiden and a Listed race. Already proven on soft and good-to-firm ground, mixed weather reports are of no worries to him and, though his trainer thinks he’ll be better over further in time, she expects him to put up a bold show.
The Sandringham Handicap is on the agenda for this 3-year-old filly by Acclamation, and a mark of 97 may underestimate her as she looks sure to be suited by stepping up in trip after the way she’s been staying on powerfully over 7 furlongs.
Being aimed at the Ascot Gold Cup, and seems to have thrived for his move to the Harrington stable from the now retired David Wachman, and his two victories since his move include a victory over Ascot Gold Cup favourite Order of St George. Whether that form stands up in the heat of Group 1 battle remains to be seen, but his trainer thinks he’ll relish the step up in trip.
Has entries in the Chesham and the Albany, but may not be a certain runner at this stage, as she is due to go through the sales ring. Trainer thinks she has plenty more to offer though, as she met trouble in running, despite winning last time.