Hermosa storms to Classic double for Ballydoyle
Hermosa oozed class as she completed a Classic double when waltzing away with the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Aidan O'Brien's filly caused a minor upset in the Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, making all the running as the apparent third string under Wayne Lordan.
With Ryan Moore aboard on this occasion, the result was even more emphatic. Always up with the pace, Hermosa was a length in front with two furlongs to run as Pretty Pollyanna sat on her heels.
For a few strides it looked as though the British-trained filly could launch a challenge under Frankie Dettori, but Hermosa then began to extend. As a sister to Hydrangea, there is no doubting Hermosa's stamina and she drew further and further clear, providing O'Brien with an eighth win in the Classic.
The 5/2 favourite won by four lengths from Pretty Pollyanna, with the Paddy Twomey-trained Foxtrot Liv back in third, filling the same spot as stablemate Decrypt in the 2,000 Guineas.
"The plan was changed to come here rather than go to the Oaks, and then go from here to the Prix de Diane in three weeks. I'm so delighted that we did (change plan)," said O'Brien.
"She could go further and her sister (Hydrangea) got a mile and a half. We'll see how she gets on in France before thinking about that."
The Classic success was the third leg of a 5/1 treble for the O'Brien-Moore combination who landed the Tattersalls Gold Cup with Magical. The 2/7 hotpot sprinted seven lengths clear of stablemate Flag Of Honour to book her Royal Ascot date, with the Prince of Wales's Stakes likely to be her target.
"There will also be an autumn campaign and she has to have a break somewhere before maybe the Irish Champion and the Arc," said the Ballydoyle supremo.
Earlier, O'Brien's Arizona had no trouble opening his account at the second time of asking in the juvenile maiden over six furlongs, leading home a one-two-three for the trainer.
Second on his debut earlier in the month, the offspring of No Nay Never never looked in any danger.
Ryan Moore decided to keep things simple on the 8/15 favourite and he ran out an eight-length winner over stablemates King Of Athens and New World Tapestry, with a Royal Ascot bid now on the cards.
That allowed Leigh Roche on the Gary Caldwell-trained Baby Power (14/1) on the near side to land the spoils by a length and a half, with Little Clarinet only managing fourth.
Denis Hogan's Hathiq continued his progression, justifying 5/2 favouritism in the process, with a clear-cut success under Rory Cleary in the five-furlong handicap.
Aussie Valentine (16/1) delighted trainer Ado McGuinness as Tom Madden's mount won for the first time since last October in the EBF Habitat Handicap.
Andrew Slattery delivered Dermot Weld's Dalton Highway (13/2) with a perfectly-timed run to grab the glory in the two-mile Boodles Handicap.
Slattery then made it a big-priced double as Telepathy sprang a 50/1 shock for Tommy Shaw in the closing maiden over ten furlongs, edging out 5/6 favourite Hazran by a length.