Power blew away his rivals in the Irish 2000 Guineas
Tue, 29 May 2012
Ireland’s Classic season got off to a powerful start at the weekend, while Down Under Fastnet Rock’s fantastic season continued both on and off the track.
Ireland’s first Classic of the season provided Aidan O’Brien with his eighth win in the race, as Power stormed to victory at the Curragh on Saturday. It was also a second victory in the race for the trainer’s son Joseph, who won last year’s renewal on board Roderic O’Connor. Power, one of four runners from the mighty Ballydoyle yard, was sent off favourite of the quartet, his stablemates Reply, Daddy Long Legs and Wrote filling third, fourth and seventh respectively.
The win is also a first in an English or Irish Classic for his sire Oasis Dream, the former European Champion sprinter who has proven a quality and versatile stallion, as proven by his multiple middle-distance Group 1 winner Midday, Gamely Stakes heroine Tuscan Evening and fellow sprinter Prohibit.
Having collected around £145,000 for Saturday’s victory, plus that accumulated during his stellar juvenile season which included a Royal Ascot win and one of Ireland’s premier two-year-old races, the National Stakes, this 50,000gns Tattersalls Book One yearling has certainly proven a worthy investment for the Tabor, Smith and Magnier trio.
A fellow graduate of the same sale followed suit the next day when winning the 1,000 Guineas, giving her sire a first Classic win in the process. Samitar, also holder of a Royal Ascot title after claiming the Albany Stakes, prevented another O’Brien clean sweep when taking the lead a furlong from home and holding one of his three representatives, Ishvana, in second by a length; Newmarket 1,000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen, also from O’Brien’s Fethard base, finished fourth.
Sent off at 12/1, the Mick Channon-trained filly was ridden handily throughout under Martin Harley, and in winning gave Rock of Gibraltar a first Classic title since he himself won the Irish 2,000 Guineas back in 2002 when trained by O’Brien. Though a miler through and through, also having the English Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Mile on his CV, the Coolmore-based stallion has sired both sprinters, such as Golden Jubilee winner Society Rock, and winners over middle-distances, led by Eclipse hero Mount Nelson. The latter now stands at Newsells Park Stud and sees his first crop running this season; his first runner Give Way Nelson finished third just last week in a Sandown maiden.
Juddmonte’s Dansili enjoyed a Group double on Saturday as first his son Bated Breath built on the promise of many top-flight places to land Haydock’s Group 2 Temple Stakes, before 50 minutes later his daughter Emulous made a winning seasonal debut in a Curragh Group 3 over a mile, the trip over which her sire made his mark.
It was another lucrative weekend for Deep Impact, the son of legendary Japanese sire Sunday Silence. A week on from his daughter Gentildonna adding the Japanese Oaks to her CV, which already included the 1,000 Guineas, his son Deep Brillante added the Tokyo Yoshun (Derby) to the 2012 tally. The Shadai Stallion Station-based sire may have been responsible for seven entries in Sunday’s race, but with 18 runners, there was absolutely no guarantee of even a place. As it was however, three of the first four home were by Deep Impact, Tosen Homareboshi and World Ace finishing third and fourth respectively. It was a close call at the top for Deep Brillante, who won by just a nose from Fenomeno; the latter’s sire, Stay Gold, earned his own Classic earlier in the year when Gold Ship triumphed in the Satsuki Sho (2,000 Guineas), a race in which the Derby winner finished third.
Sagawara became the seventh individual Group 1 winner for Shamardal after holding on by just a short neck from Rjwa in the Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp. The filly was last seen finishing a quarter length second to Trois Lunes in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux, and may well now cross the Channel for either the Coronation Stakes of Irish Oaks.
The Breeders’ Cup winner Raven’s Pass got off to a flying start in his new career with a first win on Saturday. Lovely Pass, a filly out of the Falmouth Stakes-winning mare Macadamia (Classic Cliche), won her Lingfield fillies’ maiden comfortably despite racing green, and not only earns the honour of providing her sire a first win, but was also his first runner.
Fastnet Rock added to his seemingly unassailable lead in the Australian Leading Sire title with another win by Sea Siren on Saturday. The setting was the same, Doomben, as were many of her rivals, but on this occasion the filly stepped back up in trip to seven furlongs, justifying her 16/5 favouritism with a head victory over Buffering, who last year finished within three lengths of the great Black Caviar.
A second major win of the weekend for Coolmore’s shuttle sire came the following day in Hong Kong, where Captain Secret won the Sha Tin Vase, a Group 3 Handicap, by a short head from Arrived Ahead.
Off the track Fastnet Rock proved equally successful, siring the top lots from two sessions of the Inglis Great Southern Sale. Wednesday’s weanling section saw a filly out of the dual Black-type winner Chelsey’s Image record the day’s top price at A$145,000. The following day Cool And Composed, sold in foal to the Champion elect, topped the day’s trading at A$150,000.
Closer to home, Brightwells held a one day National Hunt sale at Cheltenham, where Irish Point-to-Point winner Road To Riches earned Mount Brown Stables some of their own when fetching the session’s highest price at £155,000. The son of Gamut was one of five lots to hit six figures, helping the sale to an aggregate of £2,210,700, despite a smaller catalogue than last year.