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Sheila Lavery relishing Classic quest with Lady Kaya

24 Apr 2019

Trainer says QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket will be “biggest moment of my training career”

Lady Kaya landed the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Irish trainer Sheila Lavery is relishing the “biggest moment of my training career” with Lady Kaya in the £500,000 QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday week

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Lavery, who has been training in County Meath since 2012, has never previously had a Classic runner. Indeed, it was only two and a half weeks ago that Lady Kaya gave her a first Pattern Race success in the Group 3 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown.


Lady Kaya would be something of a fairytale winner of the second race in the QIPCO British Champions Series as she was led out unsold when the hammer came down at the €12,000 mark at the yearling sales. As a consequence the filly nobody wanted is owned by Lavery’s niece, Joanne Lavery.

“Lady Kaya came out of her Leopardstown race very well, I am very happy with her, and she now heads to Newmarket,” the trainer said

“She will be my first runner in a Classic and I’m just trying to get her there in one piece and trying not to think about it too much – if I do it makes me feel physically ill!

“I like being the underdog and I think she is a wonderful story for racing. She was very inexpensive and it shows that there is a dream out there for everyone, everyone can buy the dream and for Joanne it has come true.”

She added: “I have taken advice from a number of people, including Pat Smullen, and we think that going over to England is the best option for her. One of the reasons why we have chosen to send her to Newmarket is that we know she handles the track, having run on it in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

“She only finished sixth that day but that was not her true form, it came too soon for her, less than two weeks after the Moyglare, and she ran flat.

“I think Lady Kaya was fairly straight for her Leopardstown win, as she is naturally very fit, but I certainly hadn’t gunned her at home.

“Guineas Day will without doubt be the biggest moment of my training career and, without sounding big-headed, I have never been one to be scared by the opposition, as you just never know.”

Following yesterday’s scratching stage, the 24 entries for the Group 1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas run over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday, 5th May, are as follows:

Angel’s Hideaway (IRE), Antonia de Vega (IRE), Coral Beach (IRE), Dandhu (GB), East (GB), Fairyland (IRE), Fleeting (IRE), Garrel Glen (GB), Hermosa (IRE), Iconic Choice (GB), Imperial Charm (GB), Iridessa (IRE), Just Wonderful (USA), Lady Kaya (IRE), Look Around (GB), Mot Juste (USA), Orca (IRE), Pretty Pollyanna (GB), Qabala (USA), Secret Thoughts (USA), Skitter Scatter (USA), So Perfect (USA), Star Terms (GB), Stay Classy (IRE) (24).