Homecoming Queen Wires One Thousand Guineas
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 5/6/2012 2:12:48 PM
Last Updated: 5/8/2012 1:57:17 PM
A day after winning the Qipco Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien returned to Newmarket to capture the filly equivalent with Homecoming Queen, a nine-length surprise winner May 6.
Making her 14th lifetime start, 25-1 shot Homecoming Queen jumped to the lead early while setting a fast pace in the Qipco One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I). With Ryan Moore aboard, she drew away in the home straight on the Rowley Mile course to produce the second largest margin of victory in the history of the race, first contested in 1814.
The widest margin in the race's history occurred in 1859 when Mayonaise won by some 20 lengths.
The race was delayed by nearly half an hour when Gray Pearl got caught beneath her starting stall and was badly injured. She was removed from the course by horse ambulance and officials later said the Charlie Hills trainee had to be euthanized.
O'Brien, who won the Two Thousand Guineas with Camelot a day earlier, ended a four-year wait to claim another English classic with a memorable encore from Homecoming Queen.
"She's a hardy, tough filly who improved a ton from her first race to her second this season," O'Brien said of the Irish-bred winner. "She's got a great pedigree as a (half) sister to Dylan Thomas who progressed and progressed."
Dylan Thomas, a Coolmore stallion by Danehill, won the 2007 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) and the Irish Derby (Ire-I) in 2006.
The One Thousand Guineas, with 17 entrants following Gray Pearl's scratch, was never much of a contest. Homecoming Queen staked an early advantage by a length or two over the field, and then pulled away as they approached the dip when asked by Moore.
"I thought I was going a stride too quickly," admitted Moore after claiming his first win in the Newmarket filly classic. "Aidan had her very fit and well, she just kept going for me. There's not much of her, but she tries very hard."
Starscope, trained by John Gosden, ran on for second in a blanket finish, with the O'Brien-trained favorite Maybe settling for third.
O'Brien won his second English One Thousand following Virginia Waters in 2005.
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Homecoming Queen is by Holy Roman Emperor out of the Diesis mare Lagrion. Tower Bloodstock bred the winning bay filly.
Homecoming Queen was coming off a group III win over 1,600 meters at Leopardstown April 15. She ran 14th in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs last November.
The running time was 1:40.45 over a course listed as good to soft.
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