Lillie Langtry Victorious in Matron Stakes

Lillie Langtry Victorious in Matron Stakes
Photo: Trevor Jones
Lillie Langtry (left) runs down Spacious to win the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes.
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Lillie Langtry wore down Spacious in the final strides to claim a neck victory in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown Sept. 4.

The Matron was the second group I win this year for Lillie Langtry, who also captured the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot in June. It was the first Matron victory for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who started the day with three straight winners on the Leopardstown card, and concluded the day with a win by Cape Blanco in the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I).

Lillie Langtry was settled at the rear of the field by Johnny Murtagh as Gile Na Greine went to the front and led the field at a decent gallop. She was tracked closely by Spacious, with Bethrah, making her first start since taking the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) in May, following in third.  

As the field turned for home, Spacious assumed the lead as Gile Na Greine began to fade. Under strong handling by Kieren Fallon, Spacious opened up on the field and it looked like the daughter of Nayef was on her way to notching her first group I victory.  

Spacious continued to show the way two furlongs out, with Bethrah holding onto second over Gile Na Greine. The favorite, Music Show, looked for running room while stuck behind horses. Murtagh had Lillie Langtry under a drive on the outside, and the pair made up several lengths to take over second from Bethrah.

Setting his sights on Spacious, Murtagh continued to work on Lillie Langtry, who cut into Spacious’ lead. As the fillies neared the wire, Lillie Langtry reeled in Spacious to finally gain the advantage in the shadow of the wire.

Music Show rallied late but had to settle for third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Spacious. The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:39.60 over a course that was rated as "good" despite a heavy rainstorm earlier in the day.

After the race, O’Brien had nothing but praise for his jockey, telling the Racing Post: “Johnny gave her a masterful ride. He let the race unfold in front of him and didn’t ask her to race until the last furlong and a half; the filly didn’t know she had a race.

“She’s always been very classy and determined," O'Brien added. "She was just about ready to come back and got very strong during her break. Her next race will probably be something like the Prix de l’Opera (Fr-I, Oct. 3) in France.”

Lillie Langtry is a 3-year-old filly by Danehill Dancer out of Hoity Toity, by Darshaan. She was bred in Ireland by K. B. Lynch, and is owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier.

 

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