Curragh Homecoming for Guineas Queen

Curragh Homecoming for Guineas Queen

Homecoming Queen faces seven rivals as she attempts to follow up her surprise victory in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in the Etihad Airways-sponsored Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Sunday.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly set the early pace three weeks ago and could not be caught under Ryan Moore, who will be replaced in the saddle by Joseph O’Brien.

Moore switches to Ballydoyle stablemate After, who was last seen finishing fourth in the French 1000 Guineas.

Ishvana, third in the Athasi Stakes on her most recent outing, also runs for O’Brien.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained La Collina finished fifth behind Homecoming Queen at Newmarket and will reportedly be suited by the return to a sounder surface at the Curragh.

Dermot Weld’s Yellow Rosebud won the Guineas Trial and represents a stable in form, while Jessica Harrington runs Princess Sinead.

Janey Muddles is Jim Bolger’s representative rather than Cleofila.

The one British challenger is the Mick Channon-trained Samitar who has been unplaced in two runs this year but won over £250,000 in a fine first season.

Having won at Newmarket by nine lengths, Homecoming Queen heads to the Curragh as an odds-on favourite.

“Her first six or seven runs she kept getting beat and we didn’t know what was wrong, so we changed tactics a bit and she has clicked into gear. She’s a very hardy filly,” said Aidan O’Brien.

Jockey Joseph O’Brien added: “It was a great performance in Newmarket and if she reproduces something like that she should be very, very hard to beat.

“There was no fluke about it in Newmarket.

“She went to the front and did it the hard way.”

Yellow Rosebud is less exposed than most and will be having just her fifth start in the Classic.

Jockey Pat Smullen told At The Races: “She’s not done a lot wrong in her career.

“She’s been second to Maybe in a Group Two and has won a Guineas Trial.

“I don’t think you can ask for a whole lot more and I think she’ll run a huge race on Sunday.

“She’s a proper horse and I think she goes there with a fighting chance.

“I just hope the ground doesn’t get too quick as she appreciates a little ease.

“I don’t think it will, though, perfect ground would be fine for her.”

La Collina has thrilled Prendergast since Newmarket.

He said: “She ran very well at Newmarket and she’s come out of the race in great form.

“The big thing this weekend is the ground. She didn’t like the cut in the ground in England but it should be a lot quicker on the Curragh.

“She’s in great shape and I’m expecting her to run very well.

“It looks like we’ve got Homecoming Queen to beat, but how she’ll cope with the completely different ground is anybody’s guess.

“We know we’ll handle it so we’ll see how she gets on.”

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