Bethrah Prevails in Irish 1000 Guineas

Bethrah prevailed by a head in the Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas (Ire-I) May 23.

Bethrah got up in the final strides to prevail by a head in a blanket finish in the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 23.

One race earlier, Fame And Glory powered to an impressive seven-length victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I). The win gave trainer Aidan O’Brien his fourth victory in the race, which he previously captured with Black Sam Bellamy (2003), Powerscourt (2004), and Duke of Marmalade (2008).

Dismissed at odds of 16-1, Bethrah was settled in mid-pack by rider Pat Smullen as Full Of Hope, one of five runners trained by Aidan O’Brien, took the field of 19 fillies along at a strong gallop. Full Of Hope was followed closely by Lady Darshaan, Gile Na Greine, and Anna Salai, while favorite Music Show rated well off the pace in 10th.

Anna Salai took over the lead with just over a furlong to run, and was immediately challenged by Music Show, Remember When, and Lillie Langtry. Bethrah was also making her move, shooting through a narrow opening at the rail to join the leaders.  

Under a strong drive by Smullen, Bethrah prevailed by a determined head over Anna Salai for the victory.  Music Show finished third, just another neck behind. She was followed closely by Remember When and Lillie Langtry, who were each a head farther back in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:37.49 over the good to firm turf course.

Trainer Dermot Weld, who conditions Bethrah for Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, told reporters after the race, “She is tough and very genuine, and has progressed over the winter. We’ve done a lot of work with her at the stalls, and she is a lot more confident these days and went in perfectly today.”

“I need to talk to Angus Gold (Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager) and the sheikh himself, and we’ll make a plan from there, but she might go 10 furlongs next, as I don’t see her just limited to a mile,” Weld added.

Bethrah is a 3-year-old filly by Marju out of the Highest Honor mare, Reve D’Iman.  She was bred in Ireland by Tullpark Limited.

Fame And Glory, ridden in the Tattersalls Gold Cup by Johnny Murtagh, settled into second, several lengths behind longshot Dixie Music. Fame And Glory was followed by Recharge and Chinese White, while the highly-regarded Cutlass Bay tracked from fifth.

With two furlongs remaining, Fame And Glory charged to the lead and began to draw off from the rest of the field. Both Recharge and Chinese White made mild bids, but were no match for the winner, who galloped home an easy winner.

Recharge held on for second by a neck over Chinese White. Cutlass Bay was never a factor, finishing a disappointing fifth.

Final time for the 1 5/16-miles was 2:13.57 over the good to firm course.

Fame And Glory, who also captured the 2009 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) at the Curragh, won his seasonal debut at the course on May 3, taking the Mooresbridge Stakes (Ire-III) over 10 furlongs.  

A pleased O’Brien said after the race, “I am delighted with him and he has come forward with every run this year.”

O’Brien continued, “Hopefully, he will go to the Coronation Cup (Eng-I). It’s a quick bounce back, but we might just do it.”

Fame And Glory is a 4-year-old colt by Montjeu, out of the winning Shirley Heights mare Gryada.  He was bred in England by Ptarmigan Bloodstock and Kirsten Rausing, and is owned by Derrick Smith.