KEVIN Ryan is looking forward to his Breeders’ Cup heroine Glass Slippers returning to the track in the Casumo Temple Stakes at Haydock Park later this month.
The triple Group One-winning daughter of Dream Ahead is the standout name among 19 entries received for the five furlong Group Two contest on May 22.
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 trainer reports his stable star, the mount of Tom Eaves, 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.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile Wirko bids to cement his Cazoo Derby claims with victory in the Chester Vase. Charlie Appleby’s colt is already guaranteed a place in the premier Classic, having made a successful start to his campaign in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom a fortnight ago.
However Appleby is keen to give him more experience and views today’s Group Three contest as an ideal stepping-stone to Epsom.
“He’s by Kingman, but he does have a German pedigree on the dam’s side, so one would hope he’ll be able to handle softer ground,” said the trainer.