MICHAEL Halford is excited to see what Hamariyna can achieve this season following her promising return to action at Naas.
The daughter of Sea The Moon won twice from four starts during her debut campaign as a three-year-old last season, including the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last May.
Carrying a penalty for her return to action in last week’s Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes, Hamariyna was one of the outsiders as a 16/1 chance, but ran a blinder to finish second – splitting the Ger Lyons-trained pair of Lemista and odds-on favourite Even So.
Halford said: “We were delighted with the run. It was great to see her come back and prove she’s trained on.
“She seems in great form since, and we’ll see where we go with her once we’ve got back racing.
“We might step her up in trip later in the year, but she travelled very strongly the other day – albeit it was her first run of the year, and she was a bit keen.
“I don’t think we’d be in a hurry to go beyond the mile just yet, but we’ll see what races are available to her.”
Halford also hopes he has a couple of legitimate Classic contenders on his hands this season, in Sinawann and Ridenza.
Sinawann was last seen finishing second behind Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul in a Group 2 at Leopardstown in September, while Ridenza has been off the track since her impressive racecourse debut at the Curragh in August.
The pair are being aimed at the Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas respectively, with Halford hoping for a swift resumption of racing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to allow both to have a run before the mid-May Classics.
“Sinawann wintered well and is in good form,” said the Doneany-based trainer.
“His big target is the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and we’d love to get a run in beforehand if we can – maybe in something like the Tetrarch Stakes.
“We’re looking at the Irish 1,000 Guineas for Ridenza. We discovered she’d fractured her pastern on the night she won, so she had to have a couple of screws put in and had the rest of the year off.
“She seems to have recovered well and is in good form. Obviously she hasn’t much experience, so it would be great to get a run into her before the Guineas if we can.”
With the outbreak of Covid-19 having also brought a premature end to the Dubai Racing Carnival, Halford is pleased to report his trio of horses who were in place at Meydan have returned to County Kildare.
He added: “They’re all home safe and sound, thankfully.
“Simsir and Massif Central had a little break and are in fantastic form. They’re back in exercise now.
“We were aiming Surrounding at the fillies and mares’ final in Lingfield on Good Friday – but once that was cancelled we’d decided we’d give her a break, so she’s on a little holiday now."