Stars on show for Oxx
Stars So Bright steps up in class for Sunday's Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown.
A daughter of trainer John Oxx's brilliant colt Sea The Stars, the three-year-old was unraced as a juvenile but looked an exciting prospect when showing a thrilling turn of foot on the all-weather a little over three weeks ago.
She tests the water at Group Three level this weekend as she switches to the turf, and Oxx is hoping conditions at the Foxrock track are not too testing.
He said: "If there was some rain and the ground was yielding I don't think that would harm her chance too much, but she wouldn't be one for soft ground. She's a good ground filly.
"There are a lot of promising maiden winners in there, everyone is trying to find out what they've got and I'm sure it's a good race.
"Our filly showed a good turn of foot at Dundalk and we've been pleased with her since, so we'll see how she gets on in this higher grade."
Oxx is understandably delighted Sea The Stars has made such an excellent start to his career as a stallion.
He said: "They (Sea The Stars' offspring) have been going well, which is good to see.
"He had a very good three-week period when the ground dried up and I think that's quite significant.
"Some of them will obviously go on softer ground, but in general I think they prefer a bit better ground."
Oxx is double-handed, with Harry's Princess another promising filly for the in-form trainer.
She made a winning debut at Dundalk in November and was fourth in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial at the end of March.
"She's a good ground filly as well, although she ran a good race to finish fourth on her last run in heavy ground," said Oxx.
"She's done nothing wrong and although she doesn't have a rating, I would imagine if she did it would be in the mid 90s.
"She's done well so far and hopefully she can continue to progress."
The Oxx pair feature in a nine-strong field, with Aidan O'Brien saddling runaway Navan scorer Palace.
Dermot Weld's Afternoon Sunlight was similarly impressive on her most recent appearance at Limerick, while the David Wachman-trained Booker and Waltzing Matilda from Tommy Stack's yard were both winners last time out.
Pat Fahy's Ballybacka Queen, Charles O'Brien's Spirited and Suite from Patrick Martin's yard complete the field.