Trainer Bill Farrell is looking forward to seeing his star filly Xenobia test her powers at Group Three level in the Coolmore Mastercraftsman Irish EBF Athasi Stakes at Naas on Monday.
The daughter of Falco won a Leopardstown maiden and a Curragh handicap last summer and made a successful start to the new campaign in Leopardstown’s Foxrock Cup a month ago.
She steps up to Pattern company for her next assignment and as the only four-year-old in the field, she must concede 12lb to each of her rivals.
Farrell said: “After the way she won the last day, she deserves her chance in a Stakes race.
“Giving 12lb away is the obvious issue and I’m also a bit concerned there might not be much pace in the race.
“We’d prefer to get a lead if we can, but we might end up having to make the running. We’ll leave that to Billy Lee (jockey).
“Chris Hayes has ridden her the three times she’s won, but he has to ride for Fozzy Stack on Monday.
“Billy is a very able deputy.”
The highest-rated runner is Dermot Weld’s course and distance scorer Yulong Gold Fairy.
The daughter of Mount Nelson finished runner-up in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on her three-year-old debut.
Aidan O’Brien’s Broadway, Stack’s Iiex Excelsa, Dawn Delivers from Jim Bolger’s yard and the Ger Lyons-trained Lightening Quick complete the line-up.