'Aussie' Rules Dramatic Day at Longchamp

Aussie Rules gave trainer Aidan O'Brien, jockey Kieren Fallon, and the Ballydoyle team a second Guineas victory in eight days when he captured the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) at Longchamp on Sunday.

The victory in the French Two Thousand Guineas also marked the second Classic win of the season for his late sire, Danehill. George Washington, also by Danehill, captured the Stan James Two Thousand Guineas S (Eng-I) at Newmarket May 6.

The day's races were delayed, and almost canceled, however, due to the walkout of on-course tote operators. The tote operators were protesting the introduction of new betting machines, which has resulted in a large layoff of personnel. The walkout, combined with the delay and lack of betting stations, provoked angry bettors to block the walkway from the paddock to the racetrack. Racing was able to resume after a compromise was reached, with the first race then going off more than two hours late.

Aussie Rules, under another masterful ride by Fallon, stormed up the far rail and took command from the race favorite, Stormy River, inside the final furlong. Stablemate Marcus Andronicus nipped Stormy River for second.

For Aidan O'Brien, it was his second Poulains win, following the victory of Landseer in 2002. O'Brien told the Racing Post, "My horses are coming to form in a lovely way, and Kieren gave him a great ride. Aussie Rules will stay further, and I now hope to bring him back for the Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I) next month." The trainer also stated that: "I will run George Washington in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), and Marcus Andronicus may go for the same race."

Aussie Rules is the first classic winner for his young dam, Last Second (Alzao) who hails from a rich female family. She is a half-sister to champion 3-year-old filly, Alleluia. Champions Quarter Moon and Albanova, along with classic winner Yesterday, are also in her immediate family.