The Ger Lyons-trained Lightening Pearl could make her eagerly anticipated seasonal bow on Sunday in the Group 3 Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes over seven furlongs, a contest that may well see her book her ticket for a place in the line-up for the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6 , writes Elliot Slater.
The Pearl Bloodstock-owned filly proved herself a very smart juvenile last term winning three of her five outings, and racing under the banner of the company who sponsor the Newmarket classics it was always going to be likely that she would be targeted for the Rowley Mile event if she trained on and pleased connections, so a bold show at Leopardstown would certainly be well received in many quarters.
After running second on her racecourse bow at Navan last term Lightening Pearly got off the mark in a Roscommon maiden before stepping up to run a fine third behind Maybe in the Group 2 Keeneland debutante Stakes at the Curragh in August over seven furlongs. Dropped back a furlong three weeks later the daughter of Marju slammed Experience by an impressive five-lengths in the Group 3 Go And Go Round Tower Stakes back at the Curragh before rounding off the term with a tremendously gutsy display in landing the Group 1 Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in October where she held Sunday Times by half-a-length under Johnny Murtagh to give her handler the biggest success of his career.
Bookmakers currently rate Lightening Pearl a general 20/1 shot in the horse racing betting to return in triumph to the Rowley Mile in May, whilst she also holds entries in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh three weeks later. First things first though, punters who Bet on racing will be keeping a close eye on Lyons’ filly at Leopardstown to see if she has indeed trained on and rates a force to be reckoned with this campaign.