Samitar Springs Upset in Irish 1000 Guineas

Rock of Gibraltar filly was an easy winner at the Curragh for trainer Mick Channon.

Dismissed at odds of 12-1, Samitar charged home a convincing 1 1/2-length winner of the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 27.

The victory by the daughter of Rock of Gibraltar provided both trainer Mick Channon and jockey Martin Harley with the first major classic winner of their careers.

As expected, QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner and race favorite Homecoming Queen zipped straight to the front to set the pace under Joseph O’Brien. They were followed by La Collina in second, with Harley content to let Samitar track the leaders in third while racing along the rail.

With two furlongs left to run, Harley moved Samitar off the rail and the filly ranged up alongside Homecoming Queen to challenge for the lead.

The fillies matched strides briefly but Homecoming Queen threw in the towel as Samitar began to draw off through the final furlong.

Ishvana closed strongly to take second, with Princess Sinead another 2 1/4 lengths back in third. Homecoming Queen faded to finish fourth.

Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:38.50 over the good turf course.

A delighted Harley told reporters afterwards, “Things have been going very well. The boss (Channon) has been giving me lots of chances and to give me a ride in a classic was unbelievable.”

Samitar was bred in England by Norman Court Stud. She is owned by Martin Schwartz, who recently purchased her from Nick and Olga Dhandsa and John and Zoe Webster.

Channon said plans are to run Samitar in the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, before eventually sending her to the U.S. in September.

Samitar, who finished second to Lyric of Light by a head in the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile (Eng-I) last year, is out of the unraced Rainbow Quest mare, Aileen's Gift.