It WAS almost a case of deja vu as Ryan Moore completed a magical weekend on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile when showing his strength in the saddle aboard Legatissimo in the Qipco 1000 Guineas.
Twenty-four hours after gaining his first 2000 Guineas on the Aidan O’Brien-trained Gleneagles in the same colours, the 31-year-old stole the show again with a power-packed ride aboard the 13-2 shot, this time for David Wachman.
In doing so, Moore became the first rider since Kieren Fallon in 2005 to do the big-race double on Guineas weekend.
With his original mount and ante-post favourite Found an absentee at the declaration stage, it looked as if Moore’s chances of landing a second winner of the mile fillies’ Classic after Homecoming Queen in 2012 had been significantly reduced.
However, he found a more-than-suitable substitute with the engine and heart of a champion. Last at halfway, Moore waited for the right moment to make his move, as Tiggy Wiggy and Redstart cut out the running.
Redstart gave way, but Tiggy Wiggy continued to gallop on resolutely in front, although it was not long before the Jim Bolger-trained Lucida powered past in a move which looked to have put the race to bed.
With Moore now in full flow, Wachman’s filly started to reel in the 9-2 favourite, and soon her stamina took her into a lead she was not to give up.
Lucida battled back, but it was not to be, as she went down fighting by three-quarters of a length, with Tiggy Wiggy another four and a half lengths back in third.
Wachman, recording his first English Classic success, said: “She’s a lovely filly, a big, scopey filly, and Ryan gave her a great ride. Over the winter she showed me she could be classy, but we went to Leopardstown early this season and she was beaten in soft ground and we were scratching our heads a bit.
“She won very well in Gowran last week, it was like a bit of work – we were taking a chance coming here so soon, but it worked.
“I knew that if it didn’t come too quick we definitely had a chance. The step back to a mile was never a worry for me as she has plenty of pace.
“She is in everything, so the Oaks is a possibility, but it might be that a mile and a quarter is the magic number.”
Moore said: “Once we were getting the room, I was confident of picking them up, as she travelled very well. She saw it out in really good style as she is a good, tough, hardy filly.
“I am lucky to have picked up two good rides. I was a bit gutted when Found was not running as she is an exceptional filly and I was looking forward to riding her, but it has worked out well as I found another great one.”
Part-owner Michael Tabor said: “It’s hard to believe, to win the first two Classics of the year – it’s what you dream about. I was joking with Ryan yesterday saying I’d never done the double and I said ‘perhaps it will happen’ but never really thinking it would. ”
Bolger may look for compensation in the Irish equivalent, before a trip to Royal Ascot. He said: “There are no excuses. I’d have to be very happy with her. It would have been lovely to win, but there you go. Her next run is more than likely to be the Coronation Stakes (at Royal Ascot) but there’s a possibility of the 1000 Guineas at the Curragh in the meantime. I’m fine. I’m long past being disappointed. Kevin (Manning) said she ran her heart out, he was very happy with her. Nine years out of ten that run would have been good enough to win.”
As for Tiggy Wiggy, trainer Richard Hannon is planning a return to sprinting. He said: “I am delighted with that run. She has run a super race and is very brave to have managed to finish third in a Guineas. She will be dropped back to six furlongs at Royal Ascot now.
“She is massively popular and it was great she got a good reception. Hopefully a lot of people will go to watch her run at Ascot.”
Leading fancy Jellicle Ball ran no sort of race, finishing down the field in 12th.
Trainer John Gosden said: “I think she was unhappy on the ground, as that was not her running. She had a scope afterwards and that came back clear.”
Meanwhile, 2,000 Guineas winner Gleneagles is likely to be next seen in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on 23 May. The O’Brien colt was an impressive Classic winner under Moore on Saturday and holds entries in the Dante at York and the English and Irish Derby, but is unlikely to be asked to race over further for some time.
Gleneagles gave O’Brien a seventh success in the race and the trainer feels he could stay a mile and a quarter, but his electric turn of foot and ability to travel on the bridle marks him out as a special miler.
“He travelled well and he has the ability to quicken, that’s what he showed us last year,” said O’Brien as he reflected on Gleneagles’ two-and-a-quarter length triumph over Territories, with Ivawood back in third. “He did what we hoped. He had been working well at home, so obviously we were hoping he’d do that. He’s very much like Giant’s Causeway, so he could get a mile and a quarter, but he looks to be a miler, really. What you want in a good miler is the ability to travel and then quicken, and that is what he can do.
“I think the Irish Guineas will be next but we’ll have to see what the ground is like and the boys will talk about that.
“It looks the obvious race, though.”