1000 Guineas: Trainer Jessica Harrington delivers final verdict on Millisle

Jessica Harrington is convinced Millisle has the pedigree for glory.



Millisle’s trainer Jessica Harrington has been talking up the Cheveley Park hopeful ahead of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday. The Irish horse is currently third favourite with Paddy Power, behind Love and Quadrilateral (fav) to win the race.

Harrington says Millisle is fully prepared, showing good form and is raring to go, despite all the upheaval and confusion over the last few months. There are a myriad of things that can go wrong in the build-up to big a race – which is being made more complicated by Coronavirus restrictions at the moment – but Millisle’s temperament and ability to cope with travel is not something Harrington’s worried about.

“She’s done all her work and I’m very happy with her preparation,” Harrington said on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast. “She seems to be in good form and the great thing about her is she’s been to England already twice last year as a two-year-old and she more or less took it in her stride each time she went.

“She’s a very good traveller – really good traveller, last year she was great – the only time she got a bit upset was in Salisbury when they took blood off her just before the race. But even then she still ran a good race there, but she was eating better when she went to Newmarket.

“We were lucky enough to get Oisin [Murphy] – he’s never sat on her but look, she’s very straightforward and hopefully he’ll get on great with her.”

Jessica Harrington

Some questions have been raised over Millisle’s ability to last the distance and our very own Ruby Walsh asked Jessica if the fact her horse was sired by sprinter, Starspangledbanner, might mean she won’t be able to go all the way in this race.

But Harrington is insistent that her filly’s track record proves she has the stamina to do well on Sunday.

“If you look at when she won the Cheveley Park, “Harrington continued, “She wasn’t going to win anything when they got into the dip and when she hit the rising ground, she stayed on very well and ran right through the line to the extent that Shane [Foley] had difficulty pulling her up.

“I trained her half-sister and she won over, I think, a mile and a half and she was placed in a Listed race over a mile and six. So, I think there’s plenty of stamina in the pedigree. Has Starspangledbanner has put enough speed into her? I hope so and she’s also a filly that will relax.

“I know she won over five furlongs twice last year before stepping up to six but in Newmarket they went so quick she actually relaxed and she’ll be dropped in behind I’d say a little bit and just get her relaxed to come home.”

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