For the second time in three weeks, French trainer Pascal Bary's outstanding filly Six Perfections was unable to overcome a troubled trip, losing Sunday to Susan Magnier's Yesterday by a short head in the Entenmann's Irish One Thousand Guineas at The Curragh.
Though her presence, with leading jockey Johnny Murtagh aboard, kept the field to a mere eight, heavily favored Six Perfections, as was the case in the recent Sagitta French One Thousand Guineas, found trouble while racing at the back of the field.
By the time Murtagh found clear running room, Michael Kinane had asked Yesterday, the 11-2 winner, to quicken past the leader, Dimitrova. Six Perfections rallied and the two 3-year-old fillies provided a game sprint to the wire with Yesterday narrowly prevailing. The time for a mile on on a soft turf was 1:40.8.
Yesterday, a daughter of Sadler's Wells, will now head for the 1 1/2-mile Vodafone Oaks at Epsom, trainer Aidan O'Brien said, where she is expected to improve even further.
Murtagh, who replaced Thierry Thulliez after the earlier French debacle, was criticized for his ride on the 3-10 favorite.
But the jockey told The Racing Post, "I had a plan going out and that was to follow Yesterday. Yes, I would have loved to get out a furlong and a half down instead of when I did. But when we got daylight I still thought my filly would get there.
"She picked up well but Yesterday put her head down and certainly wasn't stopping. My filly stopped a lot quicker than the winner after we crossed the line. I'm not just making excuses but if I had the race to run again I wouldn't ride her any differently."
Bary's frustration at back-to-back narrow runner-up finishes was obvious. "It is too much. Two Guineas gone ... Whoosh! What do you expect me to say? We will just have to try again."
O'Brien credited Kinane for an exemplary ride.
"Mick's ride was perfection. Yesterday stops when she hits the front but he couldn't wait any longer than he did. She goes on fast ground but she does like an ease. She will go for the Oaks and so will L'Ancresse, who ran a good race today."
Kinane said he realized he had the favorite trapped on the inside and behind horses and he delayed bringing his run until inside the final furlong. Yesterday headed Dimitrova less than 100 yards from the finish and his mount responded well to the late charge from Six Perfections.
Kinane said, "Some days the luck bounces for you and some days it doesn't. Johnny found himself in one of those positions today. But in fairness to Yesterday, she did everything right."
L'Ancresse finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Dimitrova in fourth place after setting the early pace.