Unless (Justify) Wins The Listed Michael John Kennedy Memorial Stakes at the Curragh

Unless Another Stakes Winner for On-Fire Justify

It was an eighth stakes winner of the year for undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify on Sunday when Unless (3f Justify x Clemmie, by Galileo) won the Listed Michael John Kennedy Memorial at the Curragh.

It didn’t take long for the purple-blooded filly to take the lead in the 1 ¼ mile race with another runner going with her on the tightly packed front end. Unless gave the lead away around the turn as they raced into the stretch but when the running got serious, she was back and challenging.

In the final furlong, she not only took over the lead but quickly pulled away to win by 1 ¾ lengths over Camelot’s Azarat for her first career stakes victory.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien for Westerberg and owner-breeders Coolmore, Unless has hit the board in eight of her 10 starts and was listed placed last out.

“We're delighted with her," O’Brien told Irishracing.com. "She always looked like she would get that trip and she's a typical Justify, wants a classic trip, and she could even get further as Gary said she galloped all the way down to the boards.”

The trainer noted that the Group I Yorkshire Oaks could be next for Unless.

The Justify filly is out of Europe’s 2017 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Clemmie, who is a full sister to multiple champion and rising superstar sire Churchill in addition to the Group III winner Blenheim Palace. They are all out of the successful broodmare and stakes winner Meow, who herself is a half-sister to Group III winner Aloof and two other stakes winners.

Unless’s granddam is another Champion 2-Year-Old Filly in Airwave, who is also a half-sister to Group I winner Jwala and to the dam of multiple Group I winner Dream of Dreams.

Clemmie had a Justify filly named Mayfair in 2021 and a Wootton Bassett filly last year.

Justify leads all second crop sires by every stakes metric with eight stakes winners and 16 stakes performers, led by two Grade I winners and three Grade I performers among his eight graded stakes horses.