05/24/2009 12:00AM

Again grabs Irish 1000 Guineas


Again slogged on grimly to overtake Lahaleeb in the $560,000 Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday to give Johnny Murtagh and his Coolmore bosses their second classic triumph of the weekend. This one, however, was engineered by David Wachman, whereas Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas winner Mastercraftsman is under the care of Aidan O'Brien.

Once again, heavy ground played a key factor. Both Again and Lahaleeb were already proven in such testing conditions, Again having won the Group 2 Debutante Stakes on similar ground last summer before taking the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes on soft ground, while Lahaleeb had won the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes on a soft Newbury course prior to finishing just 10th in the English 1000 Guineas on good to firm ground.

Trained in England by Michael Channon, Lahaleeb looked like the winner as she led 2 1/2 furlongs out, only to be reeled in by Again near the line. It was 3 1/2 lengths back to third-place Oh Goodness Me with the time for the mile 1:46.34.

Sent off as the 5-2 favorite despite not having run since Oct. 5, when 14th from a very wide draw in the Prix Marcel Boussac, Again is a Danehill Dancer filly out of a mare by Breeders' Cup Turf winner Kahyasi. She appears to have the stamina to stay 1 1/2 miles, although the English Oaks on June 5 may come too soon after her Irish Guineas exertions. Wachman mentioned three other races, the one-mile Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the 1 1/4-mile Pretty Polly Stakes, and the 1 1/2-mile Irish Oaks as possibilities. She will, however, be aimed wherever the ground is softest. If she heads to Ascot for the Coronation on June 18, she is very likely to run into Lahaleeb once again.

Tattersalls Gold Cup: Weld horses run one-two

Dermot Weld took honors in the $384,000 Tattersalls Gold Cup on the Guineas undercard as Casual Conquest and Famous Name finished first and second in the 1 5/16-mile Group 1 contest. Third in last year's Epsom Derby and second in the Irish edition, Casual Conquest led throughout under Pat Smullen for 5 1/2-length victory over his stablemate, who had been second in last year's French Derby.

Three-time Group 1-winning filly Lush Lashes was third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up.The winning time for the 11-4 second choice was 2:26.45.

Weld said that Casual Conquest, a son of French Derby winner Hernando, may be given a break before beginning preparations for a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, while Famous Name will be cut back to 1 1/4 miles.