Kevin Ryan is looking forward to his “exceptional” mare Glass Slippers returning to the track in the Casumo Temple Stakes at Haydock Park later this month, but admits the five year old might not be seen at her best until later in the year.
The triple Group One-winning daughter of Dream Ahead is the standout name among 19 entries received for the five furlong Group Two contest, which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic but returns to Haydock Park on May 22nd.
After scoring at Group One level in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on her final start as a three year old, Glass Slippers claimed two victories at the highest level last season in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.
Although beaten on her two previous visits to Haydock Park, the Hambleton handler reports his stable star to be in good shape ahead of her seasonal return. However, her three top level triumphs have all been achieved from September onwards.
Ryan, who won the race with Hot Streak in 2014, said: “The plan is to start her off in the Temple Stakes prior to going to Royal Ascot. Although this is her first run of the year she is in great form.
“Anything she does at Haydock she will improve for it, but it is a good starting point. Haydock is a good galloping track and we are very much looking forward to getting her going there.
“She had a fantastic time last year, though it is always in the back of your mind that she is better in the second half of the season.
“Whether that is going to be different this year I don’t know, but we are very fortunate to have her back in training again this year as she is an exceptional mare.”
Given what Glass Slippers has already achieved it would have been easy for her owners, Bearstone Stud Limited, to have retired her at the end of last season and Ryan is only too thankful they decided to keep her in training for another year.
He added: “Retirement is always something that is always going to be there after what she has done. She is a homebred filly and they (Bearstone Stud Limited) have been breeding horses for a long time.
“They wanted to have another season racing with her which is very sporting as she is still plenty young enough to breed plenty of foals later on.”
Although Glass Slippers has gone on to cement her position as one of the finest sprinters around, Ryan insists it was his own fault she failed to fire early on as a three year old.
He added: “Her first run as a three year old in the Fred Darling at Newbury you can draw a line through. She hadn’t come in her coat and the ground wasn’t great. I shouldn’t have run her as I knew we had a better filly than that.
“The rest, as they say, is history as she just continued taking steps forward the rest of that season and she did the same last year as a four year old.”
Reflecting on Glass Slippers’ career to date, Ryan finds it hard to rank any of her Group One victories above the other and insists he treats them all the same.
He said: “Any Group One you win you enjoy as they are hard to win no matter where they are, whether they be here, France, Ireland or wherever. A Group One is a Group One at the end of the day and when you win one you get great enjoyment out of it.”
Other notable entries in the race include last year’s Darley July Cup hero Oxted from the yard of Roger Teal and the Charlie Appleby-trained Lazuli, who claimed Group Three glory at Newmarket on Saturday in the Betfair Palace House Stakes.
John Quinn features among three trainers who are doubly represented after entering talented fillies Keep Busy and Liberty Beach.
Charlie Hills has claimed the last two renewals of the race in 2018 and 2019 with Battaash, and while the multiple Group One scorer is not among this year’s entries the Lambourn handler could still be represented by Garrus.
Last year’s Group Two Flying Childers Stakes winner Ubettabelieveit from the yard of Nigel Tinkler, and the Tim Easterby-trained Winter Power, who claimed victory on her last start in the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket, represent the three year old generation.
ENTRIES FOR TEMPLE STAKES AT HAYDOCK PARK – SATURDAY 22ND MAY
4:10pm Temple Stakes (Class 1) (Group 2) 5f
1 Glass Slippers 5 9 6 Kevin Ryan Bearstone Stud Ltd
2 Ainsdale 4 9 4 Karl Burke David W. Armstrong
3 Came From The Dark (IRE) 5 9 4 Ed Walker Mr P. K. Siu
4 Desert Safari (IRE) 4 9 4 Mark Johnston Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
5 Garrus (IRE) 5 9 4 Charles Hills Mrs Susan Roy
6 Jabbarockie 8 9 4 Eric Alston M. Balmer, K. Sheedy, P. Copple, C. Dingwall
7 King’s Lynn 4 9 4 Andrew Balding The Queen
8 Lazuli (IRE) 4 9 4 Charlie Appleby Godolphin
9 Ornate 8 9 4 David C. Griffiths Kings Road Racing Partnership
10 Oxted 5 9 4 Roger Teal S. Piper, T. Hirschfeld, D. Fish & J. Collins
11 Stone of Destiny 6 9 4 Andrew Balding King Power Racing Co Ltd
12 Tarboosh 8 9 4 Paul Midgley The Guys & Dolls & Sandfield Racing
13 Glamorous Anna 4 9 1 Christopher Mason Robert & Nina Bailey
14 Keep Busy (IRE) 4 9 1 John Quinn Mrs Doreen Taylor
15 Lady in France 5 9 1 Karl Burke Clipper Logistics
16 Liberty Beach 4 9 1 John Quinn Mr Philip Watkins
17 Que Amoro (IRE) 5 9 1 Michael Dods Mr P Appleton & Mrs Anne Elliott
18 Ubettabelieveit (IRE) 3 8 13 Nigel Tinkler Martin Webb Racing
19 Winter Power (IRE) 3 8 7 Tim Easterby King Power Racing Co Ltd
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