Aidan O'Brien issues warning over Classic favourite

Three weeks later than planned, Opera Singer makes her way to the main stage in search of Classic glory. 

The daughter of Justify spent all winter at the summit of Newmarket's 1,000 Guineas market but didn't make it after a spring setback, however the ultra-impressive Prix Marcel Boussac winner is favourite for her home Classic despite Aidan O'Brien expressing reservations about her readiness. 

The master trainer expects more from her later in the season and feels she will improve significantly from her reappearance. 

O'Brien said: "We weren't sure if she would be ready to run and we think she'll improve a lot from it. She's obviously a very classy filly, but should come on plenty for the run."

The Irish 1,000 Guineas has been won by an O'Brien-trained filly ten times but not since Empress Josephine in 2021, who was a 14-1 second string. 

This time round Buttons is the apparent second string, but she is no back number according to her trainer.  

He said: "Wayne [Lordan] always liked Buttons and Ryan [Moore] liked her when he rode her too. She's in good form since Leopardstown and everything has gone well."

Of his remaining two representatives, O'Brien added: "Pearls And Rubies is just ready to start and we're thinking of Ascot with her. She needed to begin somewhere and we're not sure about the trip. She could end up going to the Jersey Stakes or even back to six furlongs. Hopefully she runs a nice race. 

"We think going back to a mile will suit Everlasting. She ran a good race when third at Navan last time out."

'They are two lovely fillies' - Twomey on the Classic trail

Paddy Twomey's strike-rate continues to amaze with the Golden-based operator reaching 36 per cent this year after Super Sox scored on Friday night. 

A first Classic is very much on Twomey's wishlist and he has two solid chances in A Lilac Rolla and Purple Lily, who have raced six times between them for five victories. 

Billy Lee has gone for Purple Lily and Twomey feels returning to a mile will be of benefit to her after being gunned down late by leading Oaks fancy Ezeliya over ten furlongs in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan. 

Twomey said: "They are two lovely fillies with similar form who have danced every dance and done very little wrong. 

"I was a bit nervous going to Navan with Purple Lily as I knew a mile and two was as far as she wanted to go and she was beaten by a very high-class filly of Mr Weld's [Ezeliya]. That race just fitted  nicely into her schedule. 

"A Lilac Rolla has done nothing wrong, she's three from three and she's never let us down."

What they say 

Joe Murphy, trainer of Alpheratz
She did it well at Killarney and has come out of the race well. She will have to step up again but she's in good form and any rain would be welcome for her.

Dermot Weld, trainer of Azada
She's a lovely big filly and I've been very pleased with her progress. I'd have loved to get another run into her but, with the very heavy ground, I decided to wait. I just thought the trial at Leopardstown was a bit too close to the Guineas and here we are. It's a big ask to throw her in at the deep end, having had just one run, but she's working well and I think she will represent us nicely.

Karl Burke, trainer of Fallen Angel
She went down to Newmarket in good shape and she didn't blow much, but that run has really sparked her up and mentally she seems in the same place as she was last year. She's a winner on the track and the ground should be fine, so we go there hopeful. Opera Singer is obviously very good but it's her first run of the season and you never know whether they've trained on. Vespertilio, who was second to us in the Moyglare, is in too and it's a competitive race but we're looking forward to seeing Fallen Angel run.

Karl Burke: “I had no symptoms and I just went for a routine check up at the end of May"
Karl Burke: trainer of Fallen Angel
Credit: Grossick Racing
Barry Mahon, racing manager for Juddmonte, owners of Skellet While it's a very big task on her first run of the year, she's a filly that Ralph [Beckett] has always liked. She ran with great credit last year as a big, but weak, two-year-old, but did very well in the off-season. She took a bit more time to come to hand this year and had a minor knock before the 1,000 Guineas. It was probably a blessing in disguise as it's given her more time to mature. She's had a day away, so she's fit and well and we're hopeful for a good run.

Willie McCreery, trainer of Vespertilio
She's a lovely filly by a great sire in Night Of Thunder. She loves her racing and was third in the French Guineas the other day. To win a Classic on my doorstep would be unbelievable and I think we have a good shot