05/21/2005 11:00PM

Grey Swallow and Saoire score upsets


Bago and Virginia Waters were beaten favorites at the Curragh on Sunday as Grey Swallow and Saoire landed the spoils in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Irish 1000 Guineas respectively.

Grey Swallow sprung a 13-2 surprise at the expense of European 3-year-old champion Bago in the $314,000 Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup. Last year's Irish Derby winner, making his first start since having finished 18th behind Bago in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 3, held off the late challenge of the French invader to prevail by three quarters of a length. Ridden by Pat Smullen, the victorious son of Daylami went the 1 5/16 miles in 2:15.10 on good ground that was a bit softer than that through the 3-furlong stretch. Ace was third, a length behind the 9-10 Bago with last year's Irish Champion Stakes winner Azamour fourth.

After a stewards inquiry upheld the order of finish, trainer Dermot Weld said that both the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot at York and the 1 1/2-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes were on Grey Swallow's agenda, after which a decision would be made between an autumn campaign in either Europe or America.

Bago, meanwhile, appears headed for a brief vacation before heading to the 1 1/2-mile King George, which will be run this year at Newbury on July 23. A disappointed Jonathan Pease blamed the bit of give in the ground for Bago's defeat.

Saoire led all the way under Michael Kinane in her 10-1 victory in the $502,000 Irish 1000 Guineas as English 1000 Guneas winner and 11-10 favorite Virginia Waters came home a dull tenth with Newmarket Guineas runner-up Maids Causeway only eighth. The winning Frances Crowley-trained filly dueled through the final furlong with the 25-1 Penkenna Princess, prevailing by a short head in a battle of two daughters by the underrated stallion Pivotal. The time for the mile was 1:41.50.

Crowley, who trains Saoire for Joseph Joyce, was experiencing the joys of her first group race win ever. Sixth behind Virginia Waters in the 1000 Guineas after a troubled trip, Saoire is being considered for both the English Oaks at Epsom on June 3 and the Irish Oaks at the Curragh on July 17.

*Godolphin announced on Sunday that Dubawi, their two-length winner of Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas, is an intended starter in the 1 1/2-mile Epsom Derby on June 4.