Power to Glory in Irish 2000 Guineas
1 Power 5/1
Power made amends for his disappointing seasonal reappearance with an electric performance in the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt trailed home 17th of the 18 runners in the English Guineas at Newmarket, beaten some 37 lengths, but a return to quicker ground saw him back to his very best.
The easy-to-back 5-1 shot looked an unlikely winner even a furlong out as stablemate Daddy Long Legs tried to lead all the way home, but a strong ride from Joseph O'Brien saw him gain the day as he produced a terrific turn of foot to beat on-rushing outsider Foxtrot Romeo by a length.
O'Brien snr, who was equalling the legendary Vincent O'Brien's record of 27 Irish Classic wins, said: "I'm privileged and delighted. At Newmarket it was his first run of the year on very soft ground.
"Ryan (Moore) rang during the week and just said 'he felt like a serious horse during the first half of the race but then he lost in the second half of the race' and we put that down to maybe needing the run and the soft ground. Ryan was anxious Joseph would ride him (from the other Ballydoyle runners) and how right he was.
"He has a lot of class and they can't go too fast in a race for him. I have to credit all the team at home including Keith Dalton, who rides him out every day - it's a big team effort. He's a big, powerful horse, hence his name, and I'd say he'll go for the St James's Palace now."
The winning rider said: "They went a very good gallop and my horse was nice and relaxed. I was creeping away down the rail and I had plenty of cover. I didn't want to get to the front too soon and the lads were a long way in front. I wasn't sure if I was going to get to them, but he quickened up very well when I needed him.
"I have to thank Ryan Moore. He rode the horse at Newmarket and said he felt like a good horse for the first part of the race and he just didn't come down the hill on the ground. He said he thought this fella was the one, so a big thanks to him."
Sea The Stars' half-brother Born To Sea ran on to make good late headway behind the principals and eventually took fifth for trainer John Oxx. Jockey Pat Smullen said: "I was very pleased with him. The number one objective was to get him to settle but once he did, I was too far behind. Hopefully he will progress."
Richard Hannon's Trumpet Major was sent off the 9-4 favourite but finished last of the 10 runners and was later reported to be coughing.
Bryan Smart was delighted to see Foxtrot Romeo justify his faith with a fantastic run in defeat.
The three-year-old had won a Hamilton maiden on his debut last August, but failed to make a significant impact on his two subsequent starts as a juvenile. He was sent off at 33-1 for his seasonal debut in the Classic, but outran his odds to finish a length second to proven Group One performer Power.
"It was a great run, you can't say much more than that really. We've always thought he was a nice horse. He only won a maiden last year, but he was such a big horse and we knew he'd improve a lot from two to three," said Smart.
"He has strengthened up, but he still has a big frame to fill and I don't actually think you'll see the best of him until next year.
"I think everyone thought I'd lost the plot by running him, but he took all the travelling and everything really well and I'm really proud of him.
"He'll be entered in all the smart races now. There is a race in France for him and he is entered at Royal Ascot (St James's Palace Stakes), so we'll just try to pick the right race for him.
"He has a proper stallion's pedigree so if we can win a Group One with him, he's going to be worth a few quid."
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