Honey Girl leads home sweet Athasi Stakes one-two
Honey Girl led home a one-two for trainer Joseph O'Brien in the Coolmore Stud Circus Maximus Irish EBF Athasi Stakes at the Curragh. Placed at Group Three level and sixth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last season for Henry de Bromhead, Honey Girl changed hands for 180,000 guineas in November and made an immediate impact on her debut for new connections when notching a first career victory at the Curragh in late March. The four-year-old faced a step back up in class for this seven-furlong Group Three, but proved more than up to the task in the hands of Dylan Browne McMonagle, picking up well without being asked for maximum effort to prevail by an impressive three and a half lengths. The winner's high-class stablemate Agartha was best of the rest in second, with the William Haggas-trained 5-2 favourite Queen Aminatu a disappointing seventh of eight runners. O'Brien said of Honey Girl: "She had some very smart form last season for Henry de Bromhead and ran very well in Group One company. "She won very well here last time and it's nice to see her back that up with another good performance today. She's an exciting filly for the future. "It's nice to see her back up a good run with another good run as she didn't always so that. They get confidence from winning, there is no doubt about that, and it's nice to win a Group race with her. "We don't have anything immediately in mind, but her owners are Australian and they are going to Royal Ascot so there is a fair chance she'll turn up there somewhere, but she'll probably be at her best in the spring and autumn when she has a bit of juice in the ground.
"I was very proud of Agartha's run. She disappointed us a little bit here the first day of the season but it was nice to see her come back to nearly her best form today. I'm sure there is more to come from her."
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