Aidan O’Brien added the QIPCO 1000 Guineas to his 2000 Guineas victory yesterday with Camelot when the outsider of his two runners, Homecoming Queen, led all the way to win the fillies’ Classic impressively.
The race was delayed by half an hour as the Charlie Hills-trained Gray Pearl went down in the starting stalls and got trapped. She was removed in a horse ambulance but was later put down.
Jockey Ryan Moore sent Homecoming Queen to the front immediately on leaving the stalls, and it might have been thought that she was making the pace for her more fancied stable companion, the champion two-year-old filly of 2011, Maybe.
But Moore kicked Homecoming Queen on at the two-furlong pole and from then on she went further and further clear, coming home nine lengths in front of the John Gosden-trained Starscope. Maybe was another length back in third, and Gosden also took fourth with The Fugue.
It was a first QIPCO 1000 Guineas success for Moore, who said: “Aidan said she was very fit and very well. I thought I was going a stride too quick, but she just kept going. There’s not much of her, but she tries very hard. She’s very tough.”
Like Camelot, Homecoming Queen is owned and bred by the Coolmore team in Ireland. She is a half-sister to their great champion Dylan Thomas by their young sire Holy Roman Emperor, and this was her 13th racecourse start – it took her eight attempts to break her maiden last year as a two-year-old.
However, this was a highly impressive performance and she is a short as 3-1 to take the second fillies’ Classic, the Oaks at Epsom, in a month’s time.