Statuette (Justify) winning the Gr.2 Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh

Statuette First Graded Stakes Winner for Justify

Scoring his first stakes performer last weekend, undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify went one better on Sunday when Statuette (2f Justify x Immortal Verse, by Pivotal) won the Group II Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

A half-sister to Caravaggio’s Group I winner Tenebrism, the chestnut filly raced along with the leaders early on in the six-furlong turf race before showing her best inside the final quarter.

Ryan Moore asked for a step up in pace and Statuette slid down the rail to win by three quarters of a length with Footstepsinthesand’s Badb in second and Sioux Nation’s Matilda Picotte giving her own freshman sire a second stakes performer with a third place finish in the race.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien for the Coolmore partners, Westerberg, and Merribelle Stables, Statuette was bred by Coolmore and Merribelle.

“She has a beautiful mind, great stride and an unbelievable physique. We think the Justifys are something to look forward to,” O’Brien told Thoroughbred Daily News. “She's a sister to Tenebrism but she'd carry her on her back as she's a massive, big powerful filly this one. She's probably not as precious as normal for a filly running at this time of year but she has so much class she was able to run and do it rather than us making her do it.”

She is one of two group winners out of dual Group I winner Immortal Verse, who is also the dam of European Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Tenebrism. Out of stakes winner Side of Praise, Immortal Verse is also a half-sister to the dam of stakes winner and Group I-placed Roseman. This is also the family of multiple Group I winner Last Tycoon, Group I winners Sense of Style and Valentine Waltz, and others.

Immortal Verse had a colt from the first Irish-bred crop of Wootton Basset this year.

Justify’s first crop has now seen two of his eight runners win or place at stakes level with Tahoma finishing second in the Santa Anita Futurity last Sunday. Six of his eight runners have either won or placed in their debuts.