Wednesday 22 November 2017

Marvellous land the 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh for Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien

Ryan Moore was full of praise for Marvellous after the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly provided the jockey with a first victory in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Ballydoyle number one jockey Joseph O'Brien opted to partner eventual fifth Palace, allowing the all-conquering Moore to team up with the 10-1 chance, who was having only her third start.

The daughter of Galileo finished only sixth on her latest appearance in the Leopardstown trial on March 30 but proved too strong for 100-30 favourite Lightning Thunder in the closing stages and won by three lengths.

Olly Stevens' Lightning Thunder, far more narrowly beaten by Miss France in the Newmarket equivalent, had finished fast and late on the Rowley Mile but Harry Bentley sat more prominently in mid-division as Marvellous' other stablemate, Wonderfully, made the running.

Marvellous still had plenty of work to do as Bentley swept to the lead with a couple of furlongs remaining but her stamina came into the equation as O'Brien reached the roll of honour for the sixth time in his career.

James Doyle, who won Saturday's 2000 Guineas on Kingman, finished third aboard the Dermot Weld-trained Vote Often.

Moore said: "You have to be very pleased, it was only her third run, in deep ground.

"She was drawn towards the outside and was a long way back. She had to do it the hard way, she passed nearly the whole field and you'd have to say it was a really good performance.

"I was taken off my feet after a furlong and couldn't really hold my spot. When I asked her, she picked up, I think she was just pretty inexperienced during the race.

"She should get further but you never know with these things. I'm sure she'd be a better filly on nicer ground."

After scoring on testing ground, O'Brien suggested the Investec Oaks on June 6 could yet be an option.

O'Brien said: "She handled this sort of ground when she won her maiden at Navan last year.

"She then had the one run this year at Leopardstown and had a bit of a break after that as, like a lot of mine, she was coughing a bit.

"Joseph had a tough choice and he knew it was a close call, but at declaration time we didn't think it was going to get as soft as this.

"With Marvellous, the plan was to come here and then on to Epsom. You'd have to say she'd definitely get a mile and a quarter the way she ran to the line.

"She's a nice, compact filly and I don't think she'd have any problems handling Epsom."

The man who calls the shots is part-owner John Magnier, who said: "Aidan fancied her. In fact, I think he even asked Joseph to ride her and Joseph picked the other one.

"Her pedigree would indicate there's could be more to come to come, she's out of a sister to Giant's Causeway who won the Cherry Hinton.

"She's really well bred and probably bred to get a mile and a half.

"We'll have to listen to what they all say over the next few days but I couldn't see any reason why not (run in the Oaks) if all goes well."

It was a boost after Magician's defeat in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Lady Cecil's Noble Mission continued his incredible transformation with a first Group One victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

It is only at the age of five that Frankel's younger brother has started to emerge from his sibling's shadow and he reaped the benefit of an aggressive ride from James Doyle, also successful in the colours of Khalid Abdullah on Kingman in Saturday's Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Noble Mission and Magician went off the even-money joint-favourites and the runner-up was closing by the post.

As was tradition at Warren Place under Sir Henry Cecil's regime, a flag will now be raised at the yard to celebrate a Group One triumph for the team.

Lady Cecil said: "It's great for all the staff at Warren Place.

"Our big aim was to win a Group One race and to raise the flag for Henry.

"I'm very emotional now. I've almost 30 horses for Prince Khalid (Abdullah), and without the horses you just can't do it.

"I'll have to talk to Teddy (Grimthorpe, owner's racing manager) but, to be honest, we didn't think past this about where he might next go.

"He's in the Eclipse at Sandown but we'll have to see how he comes out of this first."

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