Blue Bunting flew down the stands’ side rail to post an upset victory in the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket May 1.
Dismissed at odds of 16-1, the 3-year-old daughter of Dynaformer was given a masterful ride by Frankie Dettori. Held up toward the rear of the 18-runner field, Dettori allowed Blue Bunting settle into stride as Hooray, under Seb Sanders, went to the front to set the pace. They were followed closely by longshot Elshabakiya, with Laughing Lashes and Empowering settling just off the leaders in third and fourth.
As the field passed the halfway point of the race, Hooray clung to a narrow lead but several runners were hot on her heels. With two furlongs left to run, Hooray had nothing left and was quickly swallowed up by the rest of the field. Cape Dollar poked her head in front, but it was Together and Maqaasid who rolled past her as they fought for the lead out in the center of the course.
Inside the final furlong, the race appeared to be between Together and Maqaasid. However, Dettori and Blue Bunting had a clear path along the stands’ side rail, and the pair came storming past in the final yards to score a three-quarter length victory.
Together held on for second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Maqaasid. Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:39.27 over a course listed as good to firm.
Mahmood Al Zarooni, who conditions Blue Bunting for Godolphin, notched his first British classic victory in the One Thousand Guineas. A delighted Al Zarooni told reporters after the race, “That was very, very special. I’m very pleased as that is my first English Classic, and I must thank his Highness. I still think she’s a mile and a half filly and she’s done very well today.”
A major disappointment in the field was the highly-regarded Memory, who was reluctant to leave the starting gate. The daughter of Danehill Dancer trailed at every point in the race and finished last.
With the victory at Newmarket, Blue Bunting improved her overall record to three wins from four starts. The gray filly is out of the unraced Linamix mare Miarixa.
Blue Bunting was bred in Kentucky by B.M. Kelley, and was sold for $200,000 at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton August yearling sale to Anthony Stroud.