Justify Group 3 Double - Opera Singer, Red Riding Hood
Reigning Champion Australian First Season Sire Justify is in hot form and the Triple Crown winner sired Scentify (2c Justify x Fine Scent, by All Too Hard) to win at Moonee Valley on Saturday and then an exciting stakes double at the Curragh with quality fillies Opera Singer (2f Justify x Liscanna, by Sadler's Wells) and Red Riding Hood (3f Justify x Ballydoyle, by Galileo) saluting in Group III contests.
The Group III Newtownanner Stud Stakes (1m) for two year-old fillies provided the Aidan O’Brien trained Opera Singer with her first Black Type success. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan and sent out favourite, she turned the race into a procession when cruising home to win by more than six lengths in pouring rain.
A close second at her previous run, Opera Singer has two wins and a second from four starts and holds entries for upcoming Group I races.
“She had a lovely run the first day and then the second day she ran a stormer as well,” Aidan O'Brien said.
“Ryan thought he was going to beat the winner the last day, the line just came a little bit soon but she's come forward lovely. These Justifys improve, the minute they go up in distance they take off. I'd say she's the kind of filly for the [G1] Fillies' Mile, she's straightforward and she goes forward.”
Opera Singer runs for the Coolmore partners and is a half-sister to a pair of Group I winning fillies by War Front in Brave Anna (Newmarket Cheveley Park Stakes) and Hit it a Bomb (Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf).
She is the eighth winner from nine foals to race from Group III winning Sadler’s Wells mare Liscanna.
The Group III Snow Fairy Stakes (1m1f) for three year-old fillies and mares saw Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan again combine for victory with courageous filly Red Riding Hood fighting back after being headed to score the most tenacious of wins.
A winner earlier this year at Dundalk, Red Riding Hood has contested some tough Group races for fillies and come up short, but is improving with racing and pulled out her best effort to date for Seamie Heffernan.
“In fairness to Seamus he gave her a powerful ride, she’s not a straightforward filly. She has stacks of ability but through probably weakness and immaturity it’s only starting to come to the fore now,” said O’Brien’s stable representative Chris Armstrong.
“She’ll probably come back here on Champions Weekend for the Blandford Stakes and see how we go. Hopefully that will be a good confidence-booster for her and it’s onwards and upwards.”
A homebred for the Coolmore partners, Red Riding Hood has two wins and three placings from nine starts and is a half-sister to stakes-winner Monday from Group I winning Galileo filly Ballydoyle, a full sister to Champion 3YO Filly Misty for Me, the dam of Group I winners Roly Poly and U S Navy Flag.
Opera Singer and Red Riding Hood are the 17th and 18th stakes-winners for Justify, who stands at a fee of $77,000.