Matron Stakes 2021 Guide

Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
10(2)
Ryan Moore

Mother Earth

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 114
Days: 39

The 1000 Guineas heroine for Aidan O’Brien this season, Mother Earth got off to the perfect start to life as a 3 year old to snatch classic success on seasonal return.

She gained plenty of experience as a 2 year old and managed to take group 3 honours, her season culminating in an outstanding effort to be 2nd at the Breeder’s Cup.

Despite winning a classic this season she went off the boil subsequently and had to settle for a string of placed efforts. She was running with credit but was bumping into one or two rivals who had her number on the day.

This was until she was last seen at Deauville where she got back into the winner’s enclosure with a game effort to repel Sagamiyra and Speak Of The Devil in a tight finish.

She sets a strong standard at the top of the market but did go through a barren spell across the summer.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/11/21DMA8Fm8-80
16/10/21ASC8GS8-125
02/10/21NMK8Gd9-02
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-23
03/08/21DEA8Sft8-111
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
4(7)
Declan McDonogh

Pearls Galore

J:
 
Declan McDonogh
T:
 
P Twomey
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 107
Days: 16

A 4 year old by Invincible Spirit who’s taken her form to new heights recently for Paddy Twomey.

Relatively lightly raced for her age, she moved over from France where she was unsuccessful in two attempts but got off the mark at the first time of asking in Ireland for her new connections.

She won next time out in handicap company but took a giant leap forward recently when easily winning two group 3 events.

Despite giving weight away when last seen at Tipperary she won with a bit in hand and has really come into her own over 7 furlongs. The way she hits the line suggests a mile won’t be an issue and she’s bang in form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/10/21LON7Hy8-132
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-72
26/08/21TIP7.5Gd/Y9-101
11/07/21FAI7Gd9-101
10/06/21LEO7Gd9-83
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
5(4)
Colin Keane

Acanella

J:
 
Colin Keane
T:
 
G M Lyons
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 106
Days: 15

Get Lyons and Colin Keane team up with Acanella, this filly has only been seen 6 times in her career.

A winner on debut, she hinted at having some real ability but floundered when moved up in grade.

Given some time to develop off the track, she came back with an unfortunate defeat where she went down by a head to Storm Legend.

Some average runs in listed races showed promise but she didn’t look like she’d make the progress she made when moving up to a Group 3 race when last seen. A big priced 16/1, things clicked into place and she held off Champers Elysees for her day in the sun.

She shaped like coming back in trip wasn’t necessarily the obvious move but she’s secured a group win and is worth a go at this level.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-27
27/08/21CUR9Gd9-21
11/08/21GOW9.5Gd9-26
14/07/21KLN8Gd9-29
03/07/21NAA7Gd9-52
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
3(10)
W J Lee

Epona Plays

J:
 
W J Lee
T:
 
W McCreery
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 110
Days: 76

Willie McCreery sends his 4 year old Epona Plays here. It took her 6 attempts to break her maiden, but finally getting her head in front opened the door to further progress.

Some strong efforts in Group 3 races and a listed race were followed by her finally getting her turn in a big race when scoring over 9.5 furlongs at Gowran Park in a Group 3.

She returned to racing as a 4 year old this season and immediately won over a mile at Naas in a group 3 for fillies. She took yet another step forward when moving up to Group 2 company in May over a mile again, handling deep ground with ease.

Last seen moving up to Group 1 company she struggled to live with the boys and didn’t quite get 10 furlongs.

Dropping in trip will help but she’ll have been praying for heavy rain to get truly involved.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-75
27/06/21CUR10GF9-125
22/05/21CUR8Sft/Hy9-21
28/03/21NAA8Sft10-21
01/11/20NAA8Hy9-57
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
1(1)
Shane B Kelly

Champers Elysees

J:
 
Shane B Kelly
T:
 
J P Murtagh
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 112
Days: 15

Not the most prolific of 2 year olds, Champers Elysees only managed to score once all season, she did take to racing more as a 3 year old and enjoyed a very successful spell last campaign.

Racking up a four timer, she went from handicaps to winning a listed race, before winning a Group 3 and a Group 1. Her rise through the ranks was simply outstanding.

This season she’s failed to hit the same heights and has had to settle for some poor places.

She did hint at something of a revival when going up in trip to 9 furlongs but she couldn’t give 7lbs away to Acanella.

She’s not been herself this season and shaped better when going over a longer trip, she might be crying out for 10 furlongs or more.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-76
27/08/21CUR9Gd9-92
09/07/21NMK8GF9-70
16/06/21ASC8GF9-54
22/05/21CUR8Sft/Hy9-54
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
13(5)
Gavin Ryan

Shale

J:
 
Gavin Ryan
T:
 
Donnacha Aidan O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 105
Days: 15

Donnacha O’Brien’s charge spent last season butting heads with the aforementioned Pretty Gorgeous, when on faster ground Shale managed to prevail over that rival.

She’s another who’s lost her way this season however. Despite winning a group 1 as a juvenile she hasn’t trained on as a 3 year old and hasn’t won a race since.

Moving between Group 1 and Group 3 races, she’s been campaigned over a variety of trips too but has failed to find her feet.

Coming 5th over 7 furlongs at the start of the season, she’s slowly moved up in trip to be contesting over as far as 10 furlongs.

Unable to live with Acanella and Champers Elysees at the Curragh when last seen, she looks to have plenty to find on the bare form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-20
27/08/21CUR9Gd9-24
27/06/21CUR10GF9-06
18/06/21ASC8Hy9-00
11/04/21LEO7Gd9-55
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
12(8)
Shane Crosse

Pretty Gorgeous

J:
 
Shane Crosse
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 107
Days: 16

As a 2 year old, this filly looked like a world beater. A demolition job on her debut over a mile teed up a 2nd place finish behind Shale in a Group 3 race.

Her and Shale had a trio of bouts. When the pair squared off in a group 2 race at the Curragh, Pretty Gorgeous got the better of her rival on soft ground.

Only for the form to be reversed again in a Group 1 with Shale having more speed on a faster surface. A gusty win over a mile in the Fillies’ Mile last season hinted that she could be a real Guineas prospect but she failed to train on as a 3 year old.

Her best efforts have been 5th in the Coronation Stakes and a close up 7th in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket. Last seen dropping back into Group 3 level, she was a well beaten favourite behind Pearls Galore.

Things haven’t progressed for her and she’ll need to take a big step forward to get involved here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/08/21TIP7.5Gd/Y9-28
09/07/21NMK8GF8-127
18/06/21ASC8Hy9-05
23/05/21CUR8Hy9-27
09/10/20NMK8Sft9-01
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
7(9)
Seamie Heffernan

Empress Josephine

J:
 
Seamie Heffernan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 108
Days: 44

Seamie Heffernan takes the ride here for Aidan O’Brien on the Irish 1000 Guineas winner.

Not seeing a racecourse till she was a 3 year old, she made the perfect start to life racing and won at the first time of asking with ease. She attempted a go at Group 3 level on her next start but struggled to get competitive on only her second outing.

Beaten in listed company over 10 furlongs when next seen, she left that behind when holding off stablemate Joan Of Arc in a deep ground renewal of the Irish classic.

She’s floundered since and didn’t seem to appreciate her favoured heavy ground at Ascot. She was last seen coming dead last in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

A mile certainly looks like her trip but she’ll need the heavens to open to get back to her best.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/21KEE8Gd8-93
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-24
29/07/21GOO10GS8-126
18/06/21ASC8Hy9-08
23/05/21CUR8Hy9-21
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
6(12)
Robbie Colgan

Belle Image

J:
 
Robbie Colgan
T:
 
Ms Sheila Lavery
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 105
Days: 39

This 3 year old has a similar profile to No Speak Alexander. Only winning once when a 2 year old, she shed her maiden over 6 furlongs last season but hasn’t managed to get close to success since.

Beaten by No Speak Alexander on her seasonal comeback, she’s found life tough this season to get really competitive.
Her best run came over a mile in a low grade affair at Killarney where she managed to come 2nd.

Well held behind Empress Josephine and Mother Earth subsequently, she looks to have too much on her plate to reverse either of those placings.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-28
03/08/21DEA8Sft8-115
26/06/21CUR8Gd8-107
23/05/21CUR8Hy9-24
11/05/21KLN8Sft9-62
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
11(3)
Shane Foley

No Speak Alexander

J:
 
Shane Foley
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 105
Days: 39

Jessica Harrington brings her 3 year old filly No Speak Alexander here off the back of a poor run in the Prix Rothschild behind Mother Earth.

No Speak Alexander has notched up a success this season and handily took Group 3 honours when winning over 7 furlongs at the Curragh.

However impressive her victory was, she’s been beaten when trying her hand in Group 1’s since. Empress Josephine held her off in deep ground at the Curragh in May and she ran poorly in Deauville off the back of a long break.

She’s entitled to have needed the run in France and could come on bundles for that, blowing the cobwebs away. She wasn’t beaten far by Empress Josephine and could put in a bold showing.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-21
03/08/21DEA8Sft8-110
23/05/21CUR8Hy9-23
03/05/21CUR7Y/Sft8-131
27/09/20CUR7Y9-24
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
8(11)
Chris Hayes

Flirting Bridge

J:
 
Chris Hayes
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 99
Days: 15

Another 3 year old who’s only career win came when shedding her maiden as a juvenile.

She’s bumped into some high class sorts this season but hasn’t been running incredibly well in defeat. Coming 8th in a listed race on her comeback, she put in her best effort when being beaten into 2nd by Joan Of Arc in a group 3 at Leopardstown.

Only managing 7th in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, she’s since been easily beaten despite dropping in grade. Most recently being well behind Acanella at the Curragh.

An official rating of 99 gives her little chance here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-20
27/08/21CUR9Gd9-29
14/07/21KLN8Gd9-20
18/06/21ASC8Hy9-07
09/05/21LEO8Gd9-22
Leopardstown - September 10 2021
Leopardstown 12:40
2(13)
Ronan Whelan

Dreamloper

J:
 
Ronan Whelan
T:
 
Ed Walker
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 108
Days: 28

Ed Walker and Ronan Wheeler team up with Dreamloper as the 4 year old filly makes the trip over to Ireland.
Not taking to the course until she was a 3 year old, she enjoyed a decent low-key season where she managed to win a maiden and a handicap.

She struggled to land a blow in handicaps this season but was running well in defeat however. She made the perfect transition to win a group race when landing the Valiant Stakes at Ascot by a wide margin.

Last seen failing to move up to Group 2 level, she was a little tapped for speed over 7 furlongs but kept on well to be 4th.

Moving back up in trip will help her massively and she’s worth a go at this level after how easily she won at Ascot back in July. If she’s in that kind of form she could run an almighty race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-70
14/08/21NBY7Gd9-34
23/07/21ASC8GF9-31
16/06/21ASC8GF9-80
08/05/21ASC8Sft9-72

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