The victory on Sunday wrapped up a Guineas double for the Ballydoyle conditioner, whose Henrythenavigator captured the colt’s equivalent the previous day. In the race immediately prior to the Guineas, the O’Brien-trained Duke of Marmalade powered to an impressive win in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I).
O’Brien started five fillies in the Guineas, with the general consensus being that Kitty Matcham stood the best chance of winning. Stable jockey Johnny Murtagh had his choice of mounts, and he chose the daughter of Rock of Gibraltar, leaving Seamus Heffernan aboard Halfway To Heaven.
Murtagh’s decision ended up paying dividends for Heffernan, as the duo powered their way to the front with just over two furlongs to run. The gray daughter of Pivotal then stubbornly repelled challenges from Mad About You, Tuscan Evening, and Carribean Sunset within the final furlong for the hard-fought win.
Tuscan Evening was the second filly to cross the wire, but the stewards determined that she caused interference in the rush to the finish. As a result, she was demoted to fourth, and Mad About You was placed second. Carribean Sunset was awarded third, another neck back.
Final time for the mile over the firm course was 1:40.82.
Halfway To Heaven is out of the stakes-winning Indian Ridge mare Cassandra Go. She is a half-sister to stakes winner Theann and hails from the female family of Verglas and champion Bandido Secreto.