Mother Earth was a third consecutive victory in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, and a seventh in total, at Newmarket Racecourse, England, today.
The daughter of the late Coolmore stallion Zofanny was ridden by Italian-born Frankie Dettori, who was winning the 20th British Classic of his career.
The victory in the first fillies’ Classic of the season saw O’Brien became the first trainer since George Lambton in 1918 to win three consecutive 1000 Guineas.
He was also winning his fifth in the last six years, and his seven career total.
The seemingly less fancied of the two Ballydoyle fillies, Mother Earth was sent off at 10/1, with her stable companion Santa Barbara the 5/2 joint favourite in the 11-runner field, the smallest since 1990.
Statement, in the colours of Ballylinch Stud in Ireland, made the running with Fev Rover, as Ryan Moore on Santa Barbara travelled to their right, with Dettori on Mother Earth tracking just behind Moore.
When the 50-year-old Italian jockey, who was winning his fourth QIPCO 1000 Guineas, asked his mount for her effort, Mother Earth showed an impressive turn of foot to take the race lead.
Mother Earth and Dettori maintained the momentum and despite the challenges of Saffron Beach, Fev Rover and Santa Barbara, last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up had a length to spare over Saffron Beach at the wire.
Fev Rover was a neck further back in third, with the other Aidan O’Brien-handled runner, Santa Barbara, a nose behind in fourth.
The winning jockey Frankie Dettori said of his 20th British Classic winner:
“Aidan (O’Brien) gave me a lot of confidence. I rode her cold, followed Ryan (Moore) and kicked at the top of the hill. I knew she’d get home 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.”
“I love it! I was a bit deflated with Battleground in the 2,000 Guineas, but when you’re riding in a Classic for Coolmore you’ve got a live chance even on the second or third string. I didn’t have the pressure to ride the favourite, and had a very willing partner.”
The winning handler Aidan O’Brien said Mother Earth “is a very good filly, always was, and she put her head down and ran to the line.”
“She is very tough and very genuine,” he added, “and obviously Zoffany is a big loss. 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.”
Mother Earth, an eight-time runner as a juvenile last season, had experience of Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course when finishing third in the Fillies’ Mile there last October. Some of O’Brien’s previous QIPCO 1000 Guineas winners have also been well-tried as two-year-olds, with both Love (2020) and Hermosa (2019) both having run seven times as juveniles before winning the race. Another Ballydoyle QIPCO 1000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen (2012) had incredibly run 11 times as a two-year-old.
Mother Earth haS been a value €150,000 purchase by M V Magnier at the Goffs Orby Sale. She is a fourth Group 1 winner and a first Classic success for her sire, Zofanny, who was sadly euthanized earlier this year, aged 13.
Mother Earth will now bid to complete the Guineas double when she contest the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas at The Curragh on 23 May 2021. Santa Barbara, being a daughter of Camelot, should be more suited to the 1 mile 4 furlongs trip of the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom, England, on 4 June 2021, the second British Filles’ Classic of the year.
Photos: Courtesy of Breandán Ó hUallacháin