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No Speak Alexander back to best in dramatic Matron Stakes

Sat 11 Sep 2021

Watch what George Baker and Angus McNae made of an eventual finish to the first of six Group One races at Longines Irish Champions Weekend

No Speak Alexander bounced back to form to cause a 25-1 upset in the Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Jessica Harrington-trained filly crossed the line in front in a tight and a dramatic finish to the Group One over a mile. She then had to survive a stewards’ inquiry after things got very tight deep inside the final furlong.

Third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas in May, No Speak Alexander had benefited from a pipe-opener in the Group One Prix Rothschild at Deauville last month.

She took her revenge on the winner that day, Mother Earth, who had no luck in running on this occasion.

Shale made the early running with Flirting Bridge second and No Speak Alexander and Pearls Galore close to the pace.

Shane Foley made his move on No Speak Alexander early in the straight and hit the front a furlong out, landing the spoils by a neck from Pearls Galore.

Mother Earth, the 6-5 favourite, was unable to get a clear passage through under Ryan Moore and had to settle for an eased-down third, a length and a quarter away.

“It was her day in the sun today, everything was right, and she really came on from the last day,” said Harrington.

“She got no run in France at all, she got knocked over a furlong down. We trained her for this day and we rode her the same way as we did in the Guineas, up at the sharp end.

“She’s probably got a little bit stronger. She likes a bit of nice ground. We’ve no idea where we’re going now, this was the plan and we’ll enjoy the day.”

Foley picked up a five-day ban and also got three more days for his winning ride in the Boomerang Stakes later on the card.

Harrington gives her verdict to Fran Berry

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