Lyons looking for Straight Answer in England’s top juvenile contest

Unbeaten two year old bids for Grade One Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket

The question as to who is the best of Ger Lyons's powerful two-year-old team could become clearer if Straight Answer successfully lives up to his name in Saturday's Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Supplemented into England’s top juvenile contest on Monday at a cost of £32,000, the unbeaten Straight Answer has a shot at topping the pecking order of a bunch of two-year-olds that Lyons reckons is his best ever.

Although Sacred Bridge fluffed her lines when favourite for the Cheveley Park Stakes over a week ago, Lyons believes there is little to lose and lots to gain from pitching another Juddmonte-owned star into Group One company this weekend.

It will be a first step up to seven furlongs for Straight Answer who was impressive in the Listed Blenheim Stakes at Fairyhouse last time.


He is likely to be pitted against Godolphin's National Stakes hero Native Trail who is an odds-on favourite as well as Aidan O'Brien's Glounthaune, winner of his sole start to date at the Curragh in April.

“He was always a seven-furlong horse to me so the only obvious race for him was the Dewhurst. There’s more to gain than there is to lose and we took the view it’s worth a shot,” Lyons said.

Big horse

“This lad is a massive big horse and we were just taking our time and letting him tell us. His Blenheim performance was very good. We could have said we’ll lock it and leave it stepping up in trip until next year but Juddmonte are in the business of making stallions,” he added.

The Co Meath-based trainer said that other two year old stars such as Sacred Bridge, Dr Zempf and Atomic Jones are all finished for the season, as is his unbeaten Beauty Inspire who got a knock after winning the Anglesey Stakes in July.

“Sacred Bridge had turned in her coat [in the Cheveley Park]. She sweated up in the ring and you could see it in her on the day. The trip over on the day on the ferry can be a lot for a filly. It’s not an excuse but she was racing on the wrong part of the track too.

“When we looked at the Breeders Cup, it was either bring her back to five furlongs or go a mile and we weren’t going to do that,” he commented.

“It’s the strongest team I’ve ever gone into the winter with. We have most angles covered with plenty of stakes horses. If they progress from two three, they’re something to look forward to. You’d hope one would step forward and be a Group One horse. That’s the dream,” Lyons added.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column