Statuette added her name to the Royal Ascot equation with an impressive display on debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at Navan.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly was sent off the 11/10 favourite and the market looked to have it spot on as the professional newcomer fought out the finish with 460,000 guineas breeze-up buy Olivia Maraldo – co-owned by Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho – who was second at 5/4.

Statuette was a first winner in the UK and Ireland from US Triple Crown hero Justify’s first crop of two-year-old runners and the regally-bred youngster, who is out of a three-time Group One winner and closely related to Cheveley Park Stakes winner Tenebrism, was introduced into the Albany Stakes market at 7/2 by Sky Bet.

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Stable representative Chris Armstrong said: “She has always shown loads at home. She could be a filly for the Albany (at Royal Ascot). We’ll take her home and see, she’s a very big filly and we will see how she comes out of it.

“Obviously she is by Justify, an incredibly exciting sire – his first winner in Europe and he had a very good winner in America last weekend. We have some nice Justifys.”

Winning rider Ryan Moore added: “It was nice to start her off on some nice ground. She’s a lovely, big filly and she was a standout physically. She did that really nicely.

“She’s a Justify out of Immortal Verse so she’s got an incredible pedigree. I’d like to think, looking at the size of her, that she will continue to progress throughout the season. She’s a filly that Aidan liked and I’m very happy with what she’s done.”

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Donnacha O’Brien’s Wodao (2/1) was always to the fore as he opened his account with authority in the Lynn Lodge Stud Irish EBF Maiden.

Image:
Wadao and Gavin Ryan win for trainer Donnacha O'Brien at Navan

Having finished behind hot-prospect The Antarctic the last twice, there was no doubt about the winner this time as the son of Showcasing stormed to a three-and-three-quarter-length success.

“He has run into a few good horses in his last few runs, but I’d say that was a step up again,” said O’Brien. “He’s a nice horse so we will look at something like the Windsor Castle at Ascot if he comes out of that well.

“The last day we were kind of holding on to him over five (furlongs) and we kind of let him at it (today), and I’d say he is a better horse ridden that way.

“We probably ran into dad’s Norfolk horse (The Antarctic) twice, so you could be running into Group One horses there, but at the same time I think that was a step up. We rode him more positively today and it worked better. Hopefully he can progress again.”

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