Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas (Group 1)
ON one of those memorable classic afternoons at the Curragh, Homeless Songs produced a display worthy of the most coveted stage in flat racing as she annihilated her rivals to claim a famous success for Dermot Weld and Chris Hayes.
Some 40 years after he won this race for the first time, with Prince’s Polly, Dermot Weld was making it an incredible 20 domestic classic wins and he did so with a filly that looks one of the finest horses that he has trained.
Rare indeed are classics won in the manner that Homeless Songs did which speaks volumes for this filly’s ability and truly the sky is the limit with this daughter of Frankel.
On a couple of occasions in her brief career to date, this Moyglare Stud homebred has shown stellar quality, most notably and recently when scoring on her return in a Leopardstown Group 3 last month. The victorious 11/2 chance took things to a new level with this display though.
The old adage about form being temporary and class being permanent has seldom rung truer than after this success. By his own standards Dermot Weld has endured a quiet time of things through the first couple of months of the season but the considerable patience which the trainer has used to guide so many of his stars through their careers once again stood him in great stead.
A tilt at the English 1000 Guineas was eschewed as was a trip to France a week prior to this race and the decision to wait for the Curragh was rewarded with a spectacular display which, even at this stage of the season, would mark out Homeless Songs as the standout female three-year-old miler in Europe.
In a race that surely made for pleasant viewing for all her connections, Homeless Songs initially settled towards the outer in the second half of the field. From halfway though nothing was catching the eye more than Homeless Song who was absolutely cantering for Chris Hayes.
The jockey eventually let out an inch or two of rein inside the last quarter of a mile and the response was instant as Homeless Songs swept past her overmatched opponents to storm to the front.
She sustained that charge all the way to the line to dish out a five and a half lengths beating to the English 1000 Guineas third Tuesday with the Salsabil Stakes winner Concert Hall keeping on nicely to lie a further half-length away in third.
“That was an excellent performance and she got a lovely ride from Chris, he must take great credit,” said Weld whose winner is the fifth generation of a Moyglare family that has served him so well over the last 30 years.
“She did the same at Leopardstown in her trial and it was just a question of whether she would be able to carry that speed to a mile.”
“She’s always shown brilliance. She’s not the easiest to keep right but when she’s right she is very, very good. She’s a really nice filly and I well remember Pat (Smullen) winning at stakes level on the dam,” continued the trainer.
As he looked to the future Weld added: “I’ll discuss things now with Eva-Maria (Bucher-Haefner) about where this filly goes next but my initial reaction would be that the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot is a definite possible for her.”
Chris Hayes, who was winning his third Irish classic, reported afterwards: “She’s an amazing filly. I rode her last year before the Killavullan in a bit of work and I thought she was as good a two-year-old as I rode last year. I’m just very grateful and delighted to get the ride on her this year.
“Our horses haven’t been hitting the boards but we are getting there and hopefully this is the turning point.
“This filly has an extraordinary turn of foot and the last thing I wanted to be was looking for gaps.
“My only concern today was getting a clean run. The draw, the ground the trip made no difference as she is a