Former Belmont Cup-winning trainer Dermot Weld won his 20th Irish Classic on Sunday as Homeless Songs was an impressive winner of the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.
An 11/2 chance in the betting market to land a fifth 1000 Guineas for Weld, the Chris Hayes-ridden filly was help up for much of the one-mile race. She comfortably made progress on the outside of the field well into the home stretch. Once her rider asked for an effort, the granddaughter of both Galileo and Dubawi immediately accelerated past her rivals to ensure a highly impressive five-and-a-half lengths success.
The Aidan O’Brien-handled 11/4 favourite, third in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, England, last month, held off her stable companion Concert Hall by half-a-length
Owned by Moyglare Stud in County Kildare, the daughter of Juddmonte Farms’ Frankel missed both the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Poules d’Essai des Pouliches at ParisLongchamp due to the unsuitable fast ground.
When interviewed by Irish state broadcaster RTÉ Sport, the winning handler admitted:
“My only concern was whether she could carry that speed over a mile, but she relaxed beautifully for Chris (Hayes) and he gave her a most perfect ride. The Coronation (Stakes) at Royal Ascot would now be a definite possibility. She’s a great filly to have and the next day will tell us even more. She’s not the easiest to keep right, but when you have her right she is very good.”
Homeless Songs won just once as a juvenile when taking a Leopardstown maiden. Following that maiden win, she contest the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes for fillies at The Curragh, finishing four-and-a-half lengths fifth of eight behind Discoveries. She subsequently ran sixth of nine behind Glounthane, with only one-and-three-quarter lengths in total separating the first six past the post in the Group 3 Richmond Homes Killavullen Stakes at Leopardstown last October.
This season began at Leopardstown in the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes over 7 furlongs where Homeless Songs quickened well to lead in the final 100 yards before keeping on well to the wire.
It was in the 1982 1000 Guineas that Dermot Weld, the Master of Roswell House, won his first Irish Classic when Prince’s Polly took the victory. Weld went on to win the first Fillies Classic of the season a further three times, with Trusted Partner in 1988, Nightime in 2006 and Bethrah in 2010.
The victory was a 27th European Classic for Dermot Weld and a second Irish Classic for successful rider Chris Hayes who previously won the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas with Award in 2016.
Hayes stated post-race:
“It was nice to get the colts’ one (Irish 2,000 Guineas with Award in 2016), now we have the fillies’ one. Any day you ride a Classic winner is a good day.”
Dermot Weld famously won the Belmont Stakes in 1990 when Go And Go became the first Irish-bred horse since Cavan in 1958 to take the Grade 1 Triple Crown race. The son of Be My Guest also won the Laurel Futurity at Laurel Park, Maryland, was eight in the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and seventh in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga the following year.