Article Date: 06-May-2012
Aidan O'Brien completed the Newmarket Guineas double today but not with the 13/8 favourite Maybe.
Instead it was 25/1 chance Homecoming Queen who made every yard of the running in the 1000 Guineas under Ryan Moore, scooting clear in the closing stages for an amazing nine-length success.
John Gosden's Starscope (33/1) finished second and Maybe was third.
O'Brien had not won the 1000 Guineas since 2005 when Virginia Waters also completed a Guineas double for him, a day after Footstepsinthesand had taken the 2000 Guineas.
A daughter of Holy Roman Emperor, Homecoming Queen was a heavily raced two-year-old, beaten seven times before breaking her maiden and ending her juvenile campaign when last of 14 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
On her reappearance this year, Homecoming Queen finished ninth of 11 behind the year-older Chrysanthemum at the Curragh before springing a mild surprise when winning the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial by a neck over Fire Lily in April.
O'Brien said of his latest classic winner: "It's incredible. She's a hardy, tough filly with a great pedigree. In the last couple of weeks she's gone into a different zone.
"When Seamus (Heffernan) won on her last year he said she could be very smart. Joseph won a Listed race on her at the Curragh and said she had a massive engine.
"We went to the Breeders' Cup with her after that but she was entitled to be tired there. She ran first time up at the Curragh when she got a little bit tired, but won nicely at Leopardstown.
"It was an incredible performance and Joseph (O'Brien, rider of Maybe) said she was the filly he was most worried about as she would be going off in front and it was Maybe's first run. I was delighted with Maybe, too."
"She (Homecoming Queen) can go to the Irish Guineas or she can go anywhere - the Curragh, Ascot and Epsom are all in the mix. There are lot of options open to her now. She's a very progressive filly."
The 1000 Guineas was delayed by about half an hour as the Charles Hills-trained Gray Pearl injured herself in the stalls. Sadly the filly could not be saved.
Click on the link below to see a recording of the race.
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