05/03/2002 11:00PM

England: O'Brien 1-2 in 2000 Guineas


Irish training sensation Aidan O'Brien dominated the 2002 renewal of Britain's first classic of the season, the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, saddling the first two home, Rock of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing, at Newmarket on Saturday.

But for many bettors, the wrong horse won, as they had made Hawk Wing the 3-2 favorite, but he had the disadvantage of running in the stands-side group and was a very unlucky loser.

Passing the eighth pole, Rock of Gibraltar (9-1), ridden by Johnny Murtagh, took over from the early leader, Redback, on the outside rail. At this point the other group was about five lengths back, but Hawk Wing burst clear of that pack and, eating up ground in the closing stages, failed by just a neck to catch his stablemate.

It was 1 1/4 lengths back to Redback in third, with Zipping 2 1/2 lengths back in fourth and Twilight Blues fifth. The winning time for the straight mile on good-to-firm turf was 1:36.50.

O'Brien is also the breeder of the winning colt, a son of Danehill who is owned in partnership by Mrs. John Magnier and Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of the Manchester United soccer club.