The dominance of Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien in English Classics is something we have all come to expect and on Sunday the partnership landed yet another QIPCO 1,000 Guineas thanks to Love’s impressive performance at Newmarket.
Returning to the Rowley Mile, where she had finished third behind Quadrilateral in the Fillies’ Mile, Love was settled behind the pace-setters by jockey Ryan Moore.
As Quadrilateral raced freely under Jason Watson, Love found another gear as she powered clear out of the famous dip to score by four and a quarter lengths from the Richard Hannon-trained Cloak Of Spirits with Quadrilateral, who refused to settle on her reappearance, finishing third.
Moore, who has now won four editions of the fillies’ Classic, said: “She’s a very uncomplicated filly and we’ve always thought a lot of her. She’s a typical Galileo filly and she was in control of the race from a long way out.
“I’d say it’s a possibility that she’d stay [1m4f at Epsom]. At the moment she looks the best three-year-old filly around. I don’t know what the plan is but I’d say the Oaks is an option for her.”
O’Brien, speaking via a Zoom press conference, said: “We knew the horses were well, but we did stop and start so you have to be a little careful. When you back off them some horses thrive, some don’t and some need work to make them thrive.
“It’s not as straightforward as usual and thanks to everyone we were delighted with them coming here. We always thought the Oaks was going to suit her and the Guineas was the place to start off.
“We thought she’d be a filly for a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half. We thought she’d stay well, and it was a nice starting point here. The distance between the races should be perfect.”
Bred by Coolmore, Love is by the operation’s all-conquering stallion Galileo and is out of the Pivotal mare Pikaboo, which makes a half-sister to the Group 2-winning Lucky Kristale as well as being a sister to stakes performers Peach Tree and Flattering.
No stopping Murphy
Following on from his success on Kameko in Saturday’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas, jockey Oisin Murphy continued his rich vein of form as he guided both Dashing Willoughby and Run Wild to victories at Newmarket.
It was in the Listed Buckhounds Stakes that Murphy struck on the Andrew Balding-trained Dashing Willoughby while Run Wild recorded a facile success in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes.
John Gosden, the trainer of Run Wild, said: “I wouldn’t go any more than a mile and a quarter. We’ll stay at a mile and a quarter; we’re not going to charge off to an Oaks or anything.”
There was more joy for Balding and Murphy later on Newmarket’s card as the Fitri Hay-owned Bell Rock obliged in the mile handicap.
Lord North takes a step forward
John Gosden enjoyed another big winner on Sunday when Lord North continued his upward trajectory with success in the rearranged Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Haydock.
The colt, winner of last year’s Cambridgeshire, was up against the likes of Elarqam and Dante Stakes victor Telecaster. He showed battling qualities in the home straight to get on top of Elarqam before holding him off to win by a short-head.
Gosden’s son Thady, who was at Haydock, said: “It was obviously a very strong field, the second is rated 120, so it’s proper Group form. And our horse will definitely come on for fitness, he needed it. He’s progressing and I hope he’ll continue in that direction.”
John Quinn’s exciting filly Liberty Beach made a successful start to her three-year-old season for owner-breeder Philip Wilkins as she landed the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes.