Tuesday 20 March 2018

Misty For Me seals double Guineas joy for O'Brien

Seamus Heffernan kisses Misty For Me after their victory in the Etihad
Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at The Curragh
Seamus Heffernan kisses Misty For Me after their victory in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at The Curragh
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Aidan O'Brien completed a remarkable weekend at The Curragh yesterday when Misty For Me flashed home late under Seamie Heffernan to deny stablemate Together in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas.

The previous afternoon, the Ballydoyle handler had saddled Roderic O'Connor to land an emotional triumph under son Joseph in the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas. That result was a debut Group One winner for the young apprentice, who only turns 18 today, while yesterday's victory for Misty For Me was his father's sixth in all at the two-day fixture.

Completing a 118/1 four-timer on the card for the champion trainer, Misty For Me's three-quarter-length verdict meant that both of the first two domestic Classics went to offspring of Coolmore's star sire Galileo, which is also responsible for the devastating Newmarket 2,000 Guineas hero Frankel. Ironically, Roderic O'Connor and Misty For Me had turned in lifeless performances at Newmarket.

Having finished 17 lengths in front of Misty For Me when second in the English equivalent, Together was sent off the 4/1 favourite to go one better under Ryan Moore. Another daughter of Galileo, she looked poised to collect when hitting the front over a furlong out, but Heffernan delivered last year's Moyglare Stakes winner with a well-timed run to get up late on.

Heffernan was completing a hat-trick of victories in the fillies' Group One on the 5/1 shot. His previous wins had also been for O'Brien, whose fifth success in the race matched Paddy Prendergast's record haul in the one-mile event and ensured him a third Guineas double at headquarters.

"We were happy with both of these fillies going to Newmarket," O'Brien said afterwards, "but, like Roderic O'Connor, Misty For Me just didn't fire there at all for whatever reason. Seamie gave her a great ride, and she just finished stronger in the last furlong. The plan was to come here and then head to Epsom for the Oaks, so that's probably what she'll do. Together could go to Ascot for the Coronation Stakes."

Earlier, the sensational Australian import So You Think initiated a big-race double for O'Brien when easily landing odds of 1/7 under Moore in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Third in the Melbourne Cup last November, the five-year-old was maintaining a 100pc strike rate for his new trainer, having demolished the Mooresbridge Stakes field on his European debut. Subsequently cut to 7/4 favouritism for the King George Stakes at Ascot in July, the son of High Chaparral is likely to take in the Prince Of Wales at the royal meeting before stepping up to a mile and a half.

Speaking after So You Think's sixth win at the highest level, O'Brien reported that Moore had been impressed with the feel he got off the imposing sort.

O'Brien, who sent out Reply to make all in the opening juvenile maiden, also took the day's Group Three courtesy of Alexander Pope. An easy-to-back 3/1 market leader, Alexander Pope was getting off the mark for the season at the third time of asking in the 10-furlong Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes under Colm O'Donoghue.

Irish Independent

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