Tahiyra Wins Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes at Leopardstown

September 9, 2023

Connections of Tahiyra after a big win (Breandán Ó hUallacháin)

By Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Tahiyra won the first Group 1 of the Irish Champions Festival at Leopardstown on Saturday, and in the process earned an automatic starting position in the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita in November.

The Aga Khan-owned 5/6 favourite, trained by former Belmont Stakes-winning handler Dermot Weld, won the Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. 

The Irish-bred daughter of Siyouni claimed the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh during Irish Champions Festival 2022. This classic season, Tahiyra was runner-up in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, England, before winning the first Irish fillies’ classic of the season, the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas at The Curragh in May. She added another race at the highest level when claiming the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month.

Despite many of the winners at Saturday’s race meeting at Leopardstown being prominent throughout their races, Tahiyra was not so.

Jockey Chris Hayes, who post-race admitted he wanted to esnure he didn’t get caught for room on the rail, managed to find daylight for the three-year-old as the 12-runner field entered the home stretch. The four-time winner prior to today, came on the bridle to the leaders before moving comfortably clear to claim the win.

English-trained Rogue Millennium and the Paddy Twomey-handled Just Beautiful filled the minor places in the one-mile contest, a length and a quarter and a further half-length respectively behind the winner.

The winning conditioner, Dermot Weld, who famously took Go And Go to the USA in 1990 to win the Belmont Stakes, said of his latest Group 1 success:

“No matter how many Group 1s you are fortunate in life to win, that will always go down as a special one for us because all the pressure was on this filly.”

The Master of Rosewell House continued:

“She’d won the (Irish 1000) Guineas, she won at Royal Ascot and some of the other fillies that she’d beaten have fallen by the wayside but she keeps winning. She’s a very talented filly.”

Tahiyra is now a four-time Group 1 winner and has a race record of five wins from six runs, her only defeat coming in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas when coming off a 238 day break. 

Having won her maiden at Galway as a two-year-old, Weld interestingly ran her next in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, which she won. All subsequent races have been at the top level. She has earned north of $1.2 million in her career to date.

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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