“She has a heart of gold” – Pearls Galore finds the old luster of the first bag Collection 1 | horse racing news

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Billy Lee and Buddy Twomey celebrate after Pearl’s Galore win the Matron Stakes

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Written by Mark Boylan

Sunday: Matron Stakes, Leopardstown

It was billed as the perfect stage for Homeless Songs to release their first single for their fall blockbuster campaign, but pearls of abundance – The oldest runner in the squad – played her sweetest tune so far and didn’t lose 16-1.

She came back to life for an unstoppable mix of Buddy Toomey and Billy Lee.

In that race 12 months ago, the five-year-old was “as hard as nails” the last full voice, and No Speak Alexander narrowly denied her, but her shape in 2022 couldn’t be described as an improvement despite running respectfully.

However, Tommy showed why he is considered one of the brightest coaching forces in the game in snatching career best performance from the mare in what is likely to be one of her last races before retirement.

The application of cut-out cheeks and Lee’s superbly judged frontal riding meant there was no mare hunt for the Invincible Spirit, which mirrored the shape of the fifth Prix Rothschild with Leopardstown runners-up Saffron Beach and Tenebrism finishing third.

“If the mare deserves the first set, it is her,” said Lee, who was recording his fourth career-highest win in the race in which he scored his first victory over Fiesolana in 2014.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Pearls Galore: Matron Stakes winner under the excellent leadership of Billy Lee

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

“She has a heart of gold and is as strong as nails. She was a little disappointed the last times. Even when she won the Lanwades Stud Stakes from Group 2, she was a little disappointed because I thought she would win better, but today she was in great shape.”

Lee added, “Blush cheeks were helping me out a little bit. She loves this course. She took a few breaths before replaying and kicked again. She’s a star. Owners [Haras De Saint Pair] I was very patient and just got their sweets.”

He continued training as a five-year-old with the sole goal of winning at the highest level, and Pearls Galore’s win with a bit of satisfaction for Tommy.

“The goal was to win the first set this year and I’ve done that now,” he said. “She’s five and she was just doing what she had to do, just with the movements, so we put her cheeks on her.

She has a lot of abilities and can run at a high pace before the horses burn – that’s her real running.”

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Billy Lee on Pearls Galore: “She’s a star. The owners were so patient and only got to get sweets”

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Homeless Songs was a 5-4 favorite to win on its first run since a stunning Irish 1000 Guinean win 111 days earlier and traveled excitedly, but its lack of a recent run seemed to tell us in the final stages.

Talking about her fourth-place effort, Dermot Weld said: “I’m happy to run. I know people might be disappointed that you didn’t win, but you didn’t win all of the first set.

“I had a long break over the summer and ran strong races. I just got tired of the last run. Now we’ll have a look at the Prix de la Foret.”

Holly Doyle was pleased with the efforts of the second-placed Saffron Beach, but felt that the rain-died land affected her chances.

“She turned the Blinder,” Doyle said. “You go on [softer] Down to earth but probably not effective on it. I thought I had covered the winner but she struggled to pull that extra gear.”

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