"We had the option of trying to win a maiden with him, but when Haafhd wasn't coming here and we heard that the ground was likely to be quick we decided to come here. We will see how he comes out of the race, but I would imagine he will probably go for the St James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot." The first maiden to win the Irish Two Thousand Guineas was Ballymore, who won in his debut race in 1972. Bachelor Duke had two third-place showings in 2003 – his maiden debut in September and a group III effort at Newmarket in early October. He had four previous starts and earnings of $31,728.
Grand Reward set the moderate pace until giving way with two furlongs left as Leitrim House, the Tetrarch Stakes winner who would finish fourth, took the lead with 1 1/2 furlong left. Grey Swallow, in touch with the leaders all the way, took up the fight with Azamour a furlong from the wire as Leitrim House lacked a closing move and the race looked like it would go as the public expected until Sanders and Bachelor Duke came flying home.The 32-year-old jockey punched the air after the finish."It's a fantastic feeling," he said. "I rode my first Group 1 winner (Compton Place in the July Cup) in the same colors and it is a shame the Duke did not live long enough to see this day."Mick Kinane, aboard the beaten favorite, had no complaint. "He did everything to win. He loved the ground, quickened to lead inside the final furlong only for the winner to rush past us near the finish. The slow early pace wasn't a help, but I'm not making excuses."Grand Reward, Newton, Amarula Ridge and Hayburn Street completed the order.