Sonaiyla flies the flag for Ireland and Paddy Twomey at Royal Ascot

Ryan Moore to partner Stratum for Willie Mullins in the Queen Alexandria Stakes

Paddy Twomey bred a Group 1 winner when he was 14 and aims to train one on Saturday when Sonaiyla is the sole Irish hope for the final day feature at Royal Ascot.

Moyglare Stud's £900,000 purchase takes on some top sprinters in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes including proven top-flight winners Dream Of Dreams and Glen Shiel.

Twomey bred the 1995 Prix Morny winner Tagula - who went to become a successful sire - at his family’s farm in Co Cork.

Now based in Tipperary, Twomey has held a full licence for only five years but boasts an impressive strike rate including a first Group victory earlier this month when Sonaiyla won the Ballyogan at the Curragh.


Now she tackles the top level and with encouraging winning form on a testing surface too.

Ryan Moore is declared to have four rides for Ballydoyle on Saturday but is free to team up with his old ally Dream Of Dreams who finally won a Group 1 last year in the Haydock Sprint Cup on soft ground.

Michael Stoute’s doughty gelding returned with a smooth success at Windsor in May and looks to have a first-rate chance of making it third time lucky in this race.

Beaten a head by Blue Point in 2019, Dream Of Dreams also failed by the same narrow margin to overhaul Hello Youmzain last year.

Moore has also been engaged by Willie Mullins to ride Stratum in the longest race on the calendar, the concluding Queen Alexandria Stakes.

Stratum is top-rated on 112, has exhibited notable versatility in terms of ground, and Mullins is always hard to beat in Ascot’s marathon events.

Moore opted for Broome from the O’Brien team in the Hardwicke even before Friday’s downpour but testing ground shouldn’t unduly trouble the horse who was touched off by Helvic Dream in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last time.

It looks to actively work in favour of the filly Wonderful Tonight. She finished last year with Group 1 successes in the Royallieu in France and the over the course and distance in the Fillies & Mares on ‘Champions Day.’

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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