Xenobia in line for Desmond Stakes

Bill Farrell’s star gained Group Three honours on Sunday

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Xenobia could take on the boys in next month’s Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown following her narrow success at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Bill Farrell’s star filly produced a career-best performance to claim Group Three honours in the Brownstown Stakes, narrowly outpointing Aidan O’Brien’s Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up and Jersey Stakes third Could It Be Love.

A step up to the highest level in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on September 15 could be on the cards, but Farrell is keen to get another run in beforehand and has identified the Desmond Stakes on August 16 as a likely target.

Reflecting on Sunday’s performance, the Curragh-based trainer said: “It was great. We were nervous about the ground, but they did a great job with it and we were delighted.

“She was giving 8lb to an Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up, so it was a good performance. She gets seven furlongs well and it’s the first time she’s had a strong pace to run at.

“She possibly hasn’t reached her zenith yet. We think she’s improving and she’s learning as she goes along.

“We’ll look at the Matron, but we’d want to run her again beforehand and she could take on the colts in the Desmond over a mile in Leopardstown.

“We’ll see what else there is for her, but I wouldn’t be keen to go over the water at this stage.

“I think she’s learning to settle now, which is a big thing, and hopefully she will prove she gets a mile.”

Xenobia in line for Desmond Stakes
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