Monday 18 December 2017

Double delight for Aidan O'Brien at the Curragh

Jockey Ryan Moore with trainer Aidan O'Brien after winning Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on Winter
Jockey Ryan Moore with trainer Aidan O'Brien after winning Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on Winter

Newmarket heroine Winter dominated her rivals to complete the double in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Aidan O'Brien's filly saw off stable companion and hot favourite Rhododendron to win the 1000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile three weeks ago and she was a red-hot 8-13 market-leader to follow up back on home soil in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Fellow Ballydoyle inmate Hydrangea adopted a pacesetting role early on before the Mick Halford-trained Rehana was given her head by Pat Smullen and allowed to run to the lead.

However, her effort was short-lived and Winter loomed ominously alongside racing inside the final three furlongs before scooting clear.

The result was never in doubt from there as the daughter of Galileo further extended her lead and passed the post with plenty in hand.

Roly Poly and Hydrangea boxed on to finish second and third, making it a one-two-three for O'Brien, who was winning the race for a seventh time.

Moore said: "It was very easy. She gave me a lovely ride and it was very straightforward.

"She travelled and took me into the race without me asking her a thing and I couldn't be more impressed by her today.

"She was relentless and kept building all the way to the line. It rode like a piece of work.

"You'd have to say she's stepped forward with each of her runs and the way she felt today, I can't see any reason why she won't carry on progressing.

"I think the mile is fine, she'd probably get a little bit longer, but she's a fast filly."

O'Brien said: "I'm delighted with her. She came forward from the first day at Leopardstown to Newmarket and obviously we felt that she came forward then to today.

"She's not short of pace. You'd imagine she might get a mile and quarter when she gets a mile that strong here at the Curragh, but she's a good traveller.

"Ryan was very impressed with her. He said she was as easy a Classic winner as you could believe.

"If everything went well, you'd be thinking of the Coronation Stakes (at Royal Ascot) with her, because she is a good strong traveller.

"If everything is well then you have to make your mind up where you go after that. Do you go to Goodwood over a mile and a quarter (Nassau Stakes), or do you go to the Falmouth and those races?

"The lads will talk about it and see what they want to do.

"She's a big, powerful filly and is very exciting."

The Ballydoyle handler also completed the 2000 Guineas double with Churchill on Saturday.

On the feat of achieving the double-double, the trainer added: "It's for everyone really. A lot of people work very hard.

"Over 20 years if I named out all the people, I'd only forget people. As each horse comes along there is a team of people around them. We'd be very grateful to a lot of people."

Joseph O'Brien's Intricately was fourth and Rehana passed the post fifth.

However, the stewards deemed the latter had caused interference and demoted her to sixth place, with Jim Bolger's Bean Feasa moved up to fifth.

The incident occurred rounding the home turn when Bean Feasa became short of room on the rail.

Bolger was unhappy with Smullen's ride on Rehana, saying: "The filly (Bean Feasa) is fine, but it could have been otherwise and there was absolutely no need for it whatsoever.

"Pat Smullen had the whole track under him and he decides to play jockey and take out the two on his inside. There's no excuse for that sort of carry on."

Smullen received a one-day suspension.

Press Association

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