Discoveries is on course for the Qipco 1000 Guineas with Jessica Harrington hoping for a dry spring.
The sister of superstar filly Alpha Centauri and half-sister to dual top-level winner Alpine Star, Discoveries landed the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes in gutsy fashion at the Curragh in September.
Harrington hosted members of the media at her Commonstown Stables on Monday and outlined her plans for several of her stable stars.
“All being well she goes to the English Guineas, that’s the plan at the minute, provided the ground is fast,” said Harrington.
“I won’t run her unless the ground is quick. She’s like her sister, she doesn’t like slow ground, and the quicker the ground the better she goes.
“She’s done well over the winter and I’m happy with her. The family all got a mile and her half-sister, Alpine Star, got a mile-and-a-quarter, so you’d imagine she’ll get a mile perfect.
“Her work is pleasing and we might as well try and go to Newmarket, if the ground is soft that’s that and we can then go to the Curragh.
“We’ll just have to see what happens. I’m not going to make the same mistake I made with Alpha, running her on soft ground and then realising she couldn’t walk on it.
“Discoveries is the same, she struggled on yielding ground.”
Harrington knows the family well and each individual has its own characteristics.
She added: “I have her full brother here, Simpson’s Paradox he’s called, and he’s very different again.
“You could line them all up and one is more different than the other.
“Alpha Centauri was a big grey, Alpine Star was a little low, insignificant filly about 15.2 (hands) and a mealy chestnut. Discoveries is bay with a big head, completely different again.
“The colt Simpson’s Paradox is very pretty, very attractive, and quite small, but he is a middle of May foal. He’s only starting to grow now. They are an extraordinary family.”
Harrington also has classic aspirations for Villanova Queen, who finished a close-up third in the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Saturday.
“I’ll have to see how she has come out of Saturday’s race but looking at her this morning she’s very relaxed,” said Harrington.
“I’m delighted, as I thought she might be all over the place today, but she’s not.
“All being well she’ll go to the Irish Guineas.
“She had a very wide draw the other day and was coming back to seven furlongs, having won over a mile. That wasn’t ideal but she stayed it well and I was delighted with her. She’s a lovely big filly.”
Magical Lagoon, winner of the Group 3 Flame Of Tara at the Curragh in August, is also regarded as a filly with classic potential.
“She will run in the Salsabil Stakes and she got an entry today in the English Oaks,” said Harrington.
“She did a racecourse gallop the other day and we were very happy with her. She’s done well and gotten very strong over the winter.
“She’s always been a big strong filly and she seems to be a bit sharper than she was last year. She took a little while last year to get going. She’ll want a mile-and-a-half.”
Harrington hopes Confident Star, who won a Cork maiden before being beaten two lengths in a Group 3 contest at Leopardstown last October, can prove himself a classic contender.
“I’m very happy with him and he’ll most likely go for a Guineas trial. I think he’s a miler and I think he’s a stronger horse this year,” she said.
Forbearance won the Galtres at York and the Princess Royal at Newmarket last term, and is likely to be the standard bearer for Harrington’s older horses this summer.
“She’s won her listed and won her Group 3,” said the 75-year-old handler.
“We’ll look at fillies’ races, four-year-olds and upwards, over a mile-and-a-quarter to a mile-and-a-half, maybe even a mile-five as long as the ground is quick.
“She bounces off quick ground and could make a few journeys to England.”
Benitoite is also likely to progress following a fine runner-up effort on her debut in a 17-runner Curragh maiden last August.
The Pivotal filly holds entries in both the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Irish Oaks, and Harrington said: “She should have won at the Curragh, she got knocked over and then she didn’t run again.
“She’s a lovely filly and she’s done very well over the winter. She’ll be ready to run in about three weeks and she’s starting to go very well.”
One unraced colt earmarked for big things is Saturn. Bred in the purple, the two-year-old son of super sire Galileo and Alpha Centauri, Saturn could be among the stars of the future.
“He’s pretty forward,” said Harrington. “She (Alpha Centauri) ran in May and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran in the middle to the end of May.
“It just depends on how it goes in the next couple of weeks, whether he has another growing spurt or gets a bit weak or something. It’ll be what it’ll be.
“He’s very mature in his mind and he does everything very easily.”