Ireland: Jessica Harrington ponders Classic options for G1 stars Millisle and Albigna

Albigna: may have Poule d’Essai des Pouliches as first Classic option.
Photo: Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup/CSM

By Jon Lees

Ireland: Jessica Harrington could take a courses-for-horses route with her G1-winning fillies this year with Millisle possibly heading to the Qipco 1,000 Guineas and Albigna a candidate for the French equivalent.

Harrington, who trained Alpha Centauri to win the Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2018, is well positioned to add to her Classic haul in 2020 thanks to a crop of three-year-old fillies who picked off a number of significant prizes last year.

Millisle won the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and Albigna the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp while Alpine Star captured the G2 Debutante Stakes and Cayenne Pepper the G3 Flame Of Tara Stakes.

All four fillies could be in the mix for Classic consideration as Harrington sifts through her options for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3 and Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp on May 10.

“They are all cantering away,” said Harrington. “They all had a stretch of their legs this week. It’s too early to say where anything is going but the only one I am pretty sure I know where she goes is Millisle, who will probably go for the English Guineas.

“She has acted at Newmarket. But they have all got to get there sound and healthy first, which they all are at the moment.”

Albigna won three of her five starts last year ending the campaign by finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf at Santa Anita.

“She didn’t get a lot of luck in running there but they have all done very well over the winter,” Harrington added. “They’ve grown and filled out and done all the things you hoped they would do.

“I am favouring Newmarket for Millisle because she has won there and has come down that hill. I might then send Albigna to Longchamp because she’s won there. But when she ran there in the autumn Alpine Star was meant to go there but she pulled a muscle and Albigna came in as a super sub. It wasn’t her first choice.”

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Harrington, who has trained champions at both Flat and jumps codes from her base in Moone, Co Kildare, said her distaff team of big-race aspirants may not be limited to four as she hinted there may be others that could press their own claims.

“I am very lucky to have them and I have a few other nice fillies as well,” she said. “I’ve got a very nice filly called One Voice who only ran twice. She was second and then she won very easily next time. Then she had to have a little op. She’s a nice filly as well and she could come into the mix.”

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