Opera Singer (Justify) Wins Gr.3 Newtownanner Stud Stakes at the Curragh

Irish Group 3 Double For Justify at the Curragh

It was a stakes double at the Curragh on Saturday for rising superstar sire Justify when Red Riding Hood (3f Justify x Ballydoyle, by Galileo) won the Group III Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes two races after Opera Singer’s (2f Justify x Liscanna, by Sadler’s Wells) win in the Group III Newtownanner Stud Irish EBF Stakes.

The Evie Stockwell-bred Opera Singer was looking for her second victory in four career starts in her Group III and did so in a big way.

Ridden by Seamie Heffernan for Westerberg and the Coolmore partners, Opera Singer quickly took up a place in second as the juveniles navigated a mile on the turf. With three furlongs left to go, Opera Singer made her way up to the leader and less than a furlong later had the lead. Heffernan didn’t have to do much from there with Opera Singer pulling away to win by 6 ½ lengths over Gleneagles’ Brilliant with Ten Sovereigns’ Kalispera in third.

“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,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.

An hour later, it was Red Riding Hood’s time to shine in the 1 1/8-mile Group III Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes.

Early on, the 3-year-old had to deal with another runner wanting to fight with her for the lead but that was quickly put to bed as Red Riding Hood shot to the lead. She didn’t have to face much pressure in the middle stages of the race but that changed as the field turned into the straight.

Heffernan had to start seriously riding her from there and she briefly lost the lead when pinched on the rail with less than a quarter left to run. The filly came back again shortly after and wasn’t willing to give in and had her neck in front by the time they got to the wire.


“She obviously has an unbelievable pedigree and it's great to get the blacktype. She's a typical Justify, she just keeps finding for pressure,” said 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.”

Both fillies are trained by O’Brien for Westerberg and the Coolmore partners with Coolmore also breeding Red Riding Hood.

Opera Singer is a half-sister to European champion Brave Anna and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit It a Bomb among the five stakes performers from eight runners out of Group III winner Liscanna. That mare is one of four stakes performers out of her own dam.

A half-sister to Fastnet Rock’s stakes winning Monday and one other winner from two siblings to race, Red Riding Hood is out of Group I winner Ballydoyle, who herself is a full sister to champion Misty For Me. Misty For Me has produced two Group I winners and a Grade III winner among her five winners as a broodmare.

Ballydoyle had a full sister to Monday in 2021 named Velvet.

Justify’s Verifying and Arabian Lion also filled out the second and third place spots in the Grade I H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday a few races after juvenile Just F Y I broken her maiden on debut at the track.