04/29/2005 11:00PM

'Foots' captures Guineas


Footstepsinthesand gave jockey Kieren Fallon his first big race score since joining Aidan O'Brien as Ballydoyle's first-string rider with an impressive victory in the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Fallon had his choice between Footstepsinthesand, an undefeated horse who went off at 6-1, and his Group 1-winning stablemate, Oratorio, and he chose right. Always well placed, Footstepsinthesand led at the three-sixteenths pole and ran on strongly under Fallon to record a 1 1/4-length victory in the $608,000 classic over a mile.

Oratorio, outrun early, weaved his way through traffic to get up for fourth as a pair of 100-1 shots, Rebel Rebel and Kandidate, came home second and third. Footstepsinthesand, who had won a maiden and the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes in his two previous starts in Ireland last fall, covered the straight mile in 1:36.10 on good to firm ground.

Godolphin Racing's early season woes continued as its 6-5 favorite, Dubawi, was always one-paced, coming home fifth, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner while losing ground in the final stages. Meanwhile, Rob Roy, trying to give trainer Michael Stoute his sixth Guineas winner, weakened to finish last of 19, beaten 27 1/2 lengths.

The three Clive Brittain-trained runners - Party Boss, Kandidate, and Tony James - were one-two-three until Fallon pushed the button on Footstepsinthesand, who gave owners Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier their third 2000 Guineas triumph. They also won with Entrepreneur in 1997 and King of Kings a year later.

By the outstanding young stallion Giant's Causeway, Footstepsinthesand, who was running for the first time in six months, is out of a Rainbow Quest mare, so he may well be able to stay the 1 1/2 miles of the Epsom Derby, although O'Brien said that there will be discussions with all concerned before a decision is made.

* At Longchamp on Saturday, France's ace stayer Westerner returned to the races with a 1 1/2-length victory at 3-5 in the 1 15/16-mile Group 3 Prix de Barbeville. Ridden by Olivier Peslier, the 6-year-old Westerner will next run in the 2 1/2-mile Ascot Gold Cup at York on June 16.