BECKHAMPTON trainer Roger Charlton has nominated two targets in Ireland for his smart mare Thistle Bird.
Kept in training as a six-year-old with the aim of securing an elusive Group One win, she showed she retains all her ability by securing back-to-back successes in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom on Friday.
Having been only narrowly beaten in both the Nassau Stakes and the Prix de l'Opera last season, she will not have to improve much to notch a Group One victory and the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 29 will be her first opportunity this season to have a crack at the best.
After that the Group Two Kilboy Estate States on July 20 is also an option.
"She settled well and won with a bit in hand, James (Doyle) thought that she felt every bit as good as last year," said Charlton on his website, www.rogercharlton.com.
"It's very rewarding to be able to train a mare that is as tough and generous as she is. She has now won seven races and £260,000 in prize money, her dam Dolma was equally durable winning six of her nineteen starts and £125,000 over three seasons in France.
"Future plans might include trips to the Curragh for the Pretty Polly Stakes Group One for fillies and mares over 10 furlongs on 29th June where she might meet two of Dansili's daughters, Dank and The Fugue.
"Having not yet won at Group Two level, The Kilboy Estate Stakes for fillies and mares over nine furlongs, also at The Curragh, on 20th July should suit her.
MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES