Balansiya will head to either France or England for 1,000 Guineas
The Dermot Weld-trained filly ran well in a Group Three at Leopardstown needing the run
Balansiya (right) finishes second to Bracelet in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes.
The Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the French equivalent are under consideration for Balansiya following her fine effort in defeat in Sunday’s Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial.
The Dermot Weld-trained filly was an odds-on favourite for the Group Three test following a runaway maiden victory over the course and distance last November and travelled through the race like a class act.
Although she was eventually run down by Aidan O’Brien’s now-Oaks favourite Bracelet, connections of Balansiya remain keen on a Classic bid. Pat Downes, stud manager for the owner the Aga Khan, said: “We were very pleased with how she performed on the day, as Dermot was concerned about the ground as he thought she would need the run.
“She ran a nice race and we will probably look at a Guineas now, either in England or France. That’s what we’re looking at and we’ll narrow it down to one in due course.
“I’m sure the winner of Sunday’s race is a nice filly and I think time will tell it was a good race.”
The Aka Khan was also represented in the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial, with John Oxx’s once-raced maiden winner Ebanoran finishing off to good effect to grab third. He holds entries in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
“From where he was drawn Declan (McDonogh) had to decide whether to drop in and sit and suffer and use him up early in the race to get a position,” said Downes. “As it was his first run of the year, he dropped him in and it was nice to see him come home well.
“There are no definite plans for him at this stage, but hopefully he’s one to look forward to.”
It was a day of near misses for the Aga, with Weld-trained newcomer Kaleefa going down by a nose in the fillies’ maiden and Oxx’s odds-on favourite Marakoush only third in the maiden for colts and geldings. Downes said: “We were very happy with Kaleefa for her first run.”