05/21/2011 3:42PM

Irish 2000 Guineas: O’Brien, son team for win with Roderic O’Connor


Trainer Aidan O’Brien winning a Classic race is hardly news. That Joseph O’Brien, Aidan’s 17-year-old son, rode Roderic O’Connor to victory Saturday in the Irish 2000 Guineas came as more of a surprise. Roderic O’Connor gave Joseph O’Brien his first Classic victory, leading throughout the one-mile Guineas to prevail by three-quarters of a length over rallying Dubawi Gold.

Roderic O’Connor was a fine 2-year-old, winning one Group 1 and running a decent second behind Frankel in another, but he showed little in his 2011 debut, finishing 11th in the English 2000 Guineas on April 30. Racing just behind the leaders that day, Roderic O’Connor came under a ride three furlongs out and faded thereafter, but on Saturday at The Curragh, which saw soaking rain during the Guineas, Roderic O’Connor bounced out of the gate onto the early lead and never looked back, holding clear Dubawi Gold’s late bid.

The winner, by Galileo and out of Secret Garden, was bred by Swettenham Stud and is owned by Mrs. John Magnier. He was timed in 1:37.88 racing around one slight right-hand bend over good-to-firm going.

Oracle finished third, a half-length behind English 2000 Guineas second Dubawi Gold. The latter was last of eight at the start, found trouble when briefly trapped behind horses about three furlongs out, and finished with a solid, sustained run.