Ger Lyons believes that the 13th place finish of his Group 1 winner, Lightening Pearl, in Sunday’s stunning renewal of the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket was not a fair reflection of the ability of last season’s Cheveley Park Stakes winner. He prefers to draw a line under what was an unfortunate experience from start to finish for the talented filly, writes Elliot Slater.
The daughter of Marju was fancied, in the racing betting tips, to give a good account of herself on her first crack at a mile, having last term showed a great attitude and unflappable nature in winning three of her five starts and placing in smart company on the other two occasions.
But at Newmarket, Lyon’s pride and joy was very much on her toes in the parade ring, before going down to the start for the first fillies’ classic of the season. She got rather ‘stewed up’ because of the half hour delay at the starting stalls, caused by the tragic loss of Gray Pearl.
In the race itself, Johnny Murtagh’s mount travelled close to the pace until coming under pressure two furlongs from home, as she went in vain pursuit of the shock pillar-to-post winner, Homecoming Queen, after which, she was eased, when beaten by the Irish champion jockey.
The initial impression was that Lightening Pearl had simply failed to stay the mile, but Lyons is not so quick to jump to that conclusion, preferring to keep an open mind, as he waits to see how his stable star recovers from her exertions.
He will then decide if she should be trained to tackle the Irish 1000 Guineas next, or drop back to sprint distances, with a crack at the July Cup amongst a host of potential targets. It remains to be seen whether she will rank highly in the horse racing betting tips.