25/1 shot Homecoming Queen blew away the 1,000 Guineas field under an enterprising Ryan Moore ride, taking the race by an impressive nine lengths to complete a memorable Guineas double for Aidan O’Brien.
The 1,000 Guineas result came as something as a shock, due to Homecoming Queen’s busy career so far, having run in a highly unusual thirteen races prior to the season’s second Classic. But the performance drew comparisons to Frankel, as she jumped out in front and never relinquished her lead, extending it two furlongs out and winning by an impressive nine lengths.
Winning jockey Ryan Moore said, “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.”
O’Brien, who last won the 1,000 Guineas in 2005, said of Homecoming Queen, “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.”
“It was an incredible performance and Joseph 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,” continued the Ballydoyle trainer.
The start of the 1,000 Guineas had been delayed by 25 minutes due to an incident concerning the Charles Hills trained filly Gray Pearl, who appeared to collapse and become wedged in the starting stalls. The filly was eventually taken away in the horse ambulance and sadly had to be put to sleep.
When the 1,000 Guineas eventually got underway, the majority of the field raced up the centre, with Homecoming Queen and Ryan Moore taking off at a blistering pace. The pair had many others hard at work early on and O’Brien’s other filly in the race, the 13/8 favourite Maybe, never looked like getting anywhere near the winner, finishing ten lengths back in third, a length behind the runner-up Starscope (33/1).
Maybe’s jockey, Joseph O’Brien, said of his 1,000 Guineas mount, “She travelled into the race well but she just got a bit tired on the ground which is getting softer all the time.”
John Gosden’s Starscope had played up at the start, but she ran a big race in this year’s Nell Gwyn Stakes and was unlucky to find trouble in running that day. She clearly improved for that effort and ran another big race in today’s 1,000 Guineas, while stablemate The Fugue also put in a big effort, to finish fourth under William Buick.
13/2 shot Moonstone Magic disappointed, finishing third last in the race, while the Godolphin team also had a miserable 1,000 Guineas result, as their pair Discourse and Lyric of Light trailed in last and second to last.
Here is the 2012 1,000 Guineas result in full:
1st – #5 Homecoming Queen (IRE) – 25/1
2nd – #16 Starscope – 33/1
3rd = #12 Maybe (IRE) – 13/8 Fav