Double-up for Bachir
GODOLPHIN captured their first Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh yesterday when Bachir followed up his win in the French Guineas with another...
GODOLPHIN captured their first Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh yesterday when Bachir followed up his win in the French Guineas with another excellent performance, holding off the persistent challenge of the favourite Giant's Causeway in the Entenmann's-sponsored classic.
Hopes of an Irish success faded long before the halfway stage of the race as the slow early gallop suited the winner best of all and Frankie Dettori already had Bachir up front dictating a steady pace.
Dettori said: ``I had no particular plan but having ridden earlier and realised the ground was perfect and there was no obvious pace in the race, I decided to have my mount prominent from the start. I nicked a length on the favourite two furlongs out and this was a help as he just ran out of ground.''
Michael Kinane, who partnered the hot favourite Giant's Causeway, always had his mount close up and tracked the winner at the halfway stage. When Bachir quickened two furlongs out Kinane quickly followed suit on the favourite but gamely though he tried, Giant's Causeway just failed to overhaul Bachir.
Kinane said: ``Giant's Causeway ran a very nice race.'' However, although this was an excellent performance from Giant's Causeway, many observers were amazed that Ballydoyle had not entered a pacemaker for the favourite.
Right from the start Bachir, Cape Town and Giant's Causeway were prominent and it was significant that this trio quickened up in the closing stages and stayed ahead of their rivals. Even Barathea Guest, which had been third in the English 2000 Guineas, was unable to get to the leaders although he plugged on to be nearest at the finish in fourth place.
Simon Crisford, Godolphin racing manager, said: ``Bachir will now be considered for the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in which we may also be represented by China Visit. Hopefully today's winner can emulate Desert Prince, which won the French and Irish Guineas before going on to succeed at Royal Ascot.''
Dettori added: ``Bachir deserves plenty of credit as a dual Guineas winner and we were lucky that so little rain fell on the Curragh in the last couple of days.''
The winner and the third-placed horse are both sired by Desert Style and they certainly justified their late addition to the Curragh Classic as Cape Town came in at the second entry stage while the winner Bachir was supplemented earlier in the week.
Frankie Dettori performed his customary flying dismount in the winners' enclosure and his many fans will now be hoping that Meiosis will give the popular jockey and her trainer Saeed Bin Suroor another success in this afternoon's Entenmann's Irish 1000 Guineas.
Giant's Causeway's stable companion Pyrus made a very promising debut in the Napolina Marble Hill Stakes when this son of Mr Prospector came home a clear winner for Kinane.
Aidan O'Brien said: ``This is a very nice colt. We will have to consider the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot for him. He has plenty of speed and Michael says he will enjoy a faster pace and an extra furlong.''
Kinane allowed Dettori to set the pace on English challenger Innit, but made his move on the favourite before the final furlong and Pyrus responded well to lengthen his stride.
John Oxx and Johnny Murtagh combined to win the Weatherbys Greenland Stakes with Namid. This colt was held up by Murtagh in the first half of the race and two furlongs from home the nine-runner field was closely grouped but Namid took command before the final furlong to run out an easy winner from Social Harmony and Rossini, which had every chance but did not quicken in the last furlong.
Mrs Evans came with a late run to snatch victory from Tushna in the Mulcahy McDonagh & Partners Handicap. The winner is already in foal to Ashkalani and showed great resolve to overcome Cushna which led early in the straight and never gave up his gallop.
Meanwhile, Henry Cecil's three Vodafone Derby hopefuls - Beat Hollow, Wellbeing and Bien Entendu - continued their build-up to Epsom with a gallop at Newmarket yesterday.
And all three are set to work during racing at Yarmouth next Wednesday after their preparation for the premier Classic on June 10 was held up two weeks ago when all three were sidelined with mucus on their lungs.
Willie Ryan, who won the Derby on Benny The Dip in 1997, partnered Beat Hollow today.
He told Channel 4 at Doncaster: ``They worked in a pleasing manner and after the gallop we were very happy with their progress.
``Going to Yarmouth is part of their preparation. It's more experience for them and we hope that it will put all three of them bang there.''