Homecoming Queen the one to beat

Fri, May 25, 2012, 01:00

Racing: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.