Aidan O’Brien completes three-in-a-row as Mother Earth takes 1,000 Guineas
Frankie Dettori storms home at Newmarket on Ballydoyle’s second string
Frankie Dettori celebrates after riding Mother Earth to win the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Mother Earth gave trainer Aidan O’Brien a third successive victory in the Qipco 1000 Guineas as she claimed the fillies’ Classic in the hands of Frankie Dettori.
All eyes had been on O’Brien’s other runner, Santa Barbara but it was the bigger-priced filly who grabbed the glory at Newmarket, taking the Ballydoyle trainer’s tally in the race to seven, with five of those victories in the last six years.
Sent off at 10-1, Mother Earth was given a vintage ride from Dettori, who was registering his fourth win in the race.
The 50-year-old had her in mid-pack, behind Ryan Moore on Santa Barbara in the early stages, as Statement and Fev Rover made the running.
When Dettori asked Mother Earth to make his move, the daughter of Zoffany responded with a decisive turn of foot that took her into the lead.
They maintained the gallop and went on to score by a length from Saffron Beach, with Fev Rover a neck away in third and Santa Barbara (5-2 joint-favourite) just a nose further back in fourth.
Alcohol Free, the other joint-favourite, was just behind Santa Barbara in fifth.
Dettori was all smiles as he celebrated the 20th Classic success of his famous career.
“Fifty years old. Come on the oldies. We can still do it,” he told ITV Racing, referencing 54-year-old Kevin Manning’s success 24 hours earlier on Poetic Flare in the 2000 Guineas.
“Great. It’s my 20th Classic, so I’ delighted and in my home town of Newmarket.
“Aidan gave me a lot of confidence. I rode her cold, she was going to come on good. I followed Ryan [Moore on Santa Barbara] and kicked at the top of the hill. I knew she’d get home, and she did, and I was able to enjoy it.
“I think she’ll get a mile and a quarter. She’s very easy to handle and she’s very brave. She’s not very big, but she’s got a big engine.”
Dettori is not ruling out a shot at further Classic glory over a longer trip either, for Mother Earth.
“There’s a possibility she might get the Oaks trip of a mile and a half,” he added.
“She’s very relaxed. I’ll leave that to the professionals. I’m just the jockey on top that steers them.
“I love it. I was a bit deflated yesterday after Battleground [well beaten in the 2000 Guineas] but when you ride in the Classics for Coolmore, even the second or third string you’ve got a live chance. In the back of my mind, I thought anything is possible.”
O’Brien, who described Dettori as an “unbelievable rider”, was full of praise for his winner, and his beaten favourite too.
“Mother Earth is a very good filly, always was,” he said. “It was unfair to Santa Barbara to come [after one run], but we had to come. With a view to coming back for the Oaks, she had to run.
“Santa Barbara was just green in the dip but after having one easy run, it was a great run.
“We kind of felt coming here that she was going to learn as much as she would having three runs but there was a risk doing it that she was going to get beaten.”
It was Mother Earth’s day, though, and O’Brien added: “Frankie’s filly is a very consistent filly. She had a great run in America on her last run last year, and she’s very professional and did everything really well, so we’re delighted.
“Santa Barbara was always going to go to the Oaks, and Mother Earth was always going to come back to the Irish Guineas. That was the plan.
“It’s great to have Frankie. What can you say, he’s an unbelievable rider.”