Horse racing: O’Brien run ends as Homecoming Queen thwarted
Aidan O’Brien’s Classic run was brought to an end at the Curragh yesterday as Irish 1,000 Guineas favourite Homecoming Queen failed to follow up Power’s victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas a day earlier.
The Ballydoyle team completed the Guineas double at Newmarket earlier this month, with Camelot and Homecoming Queen scooping top honours in their respective races.
Although Power bounced back from his disappointing run at Headquarters to lift the Curragh colts’ Classic, Homecoming Queen proved no match for the Mick Channon-trained Samitar yesterday.
Power’s 5-1 victory under the trainer’s son, Joseph, still proved a landmark triumph, however, as it meant the trainer was equalling the legendary Vincent O’Brien’s record of 27 Irish Classic wins.
O’Brien snr said: “He’s a big, powerful horse, hence his name, and I’d say he’ll go for the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot now.”
Homecoming Queen’s trailblazing tactics, so effective at Newmarket, were not so potent in yesterday’s feature. Her nine-length victory on the Rowley Mile led to her being sent off the 11-8 favourite to complete the Guineas double, but she weakened into fourth.
By contrast, Samitar (12-1) gave Channon and jockey Martin Harley their first taste of Classic glory. Although she failed to cut much ice in a sales race at Newmarket and the French 1000 Guineas, she travelled powerfully throughout this one-mile heat and quickened smartly to win decisively. Channon said: “She’ll go for the Coronation Stakes (Royal Ascot) and she was bought by the owner (Martin Schwartz) to go to America.”
The other major prize on yesterday’s card was the Tattersalls Gold Cup, which was successfully defended by O’Brien’s So You Think.
The 2-11 favourite was on something of a recovery mission after four defeats in a row, but he got the job done with the minimum of fuss, beating Famous Name by six lengths.
O’Brien said: “We’ll look at Royal Ascot (Queen Anne Stakes or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes). Then he’ll go for the Eclipse (Sandown) as that’s the only race that fits into his programme before he goes into quarantine (for stud duties in Australia).”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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