05/06/2007 11:00PM

Irish filly Finsceal Beo sets 1000 Guineas recordP


Finsceal Beo brought smiles back to Irish faces at Newmarket on Sunday as she confirmed her 5-4 favoritism in sweeping to victory in the $700,000 1000 Guineas Stakes.

Disheartened by the defection of the favored Teofilo from Saturday's 2000 Guineas, County Carlow trainer Jim Bolger lost little time in setting things right as he sent out Finsceal Beo, the European juvenile filly champion, to win the classic mile with a certain ease. Never far away in her seasonal debut under Kevin Manning, Finsceal Beo assumed command at the quarter pole and gave nothing else a chance, crossing the line 2 1/2 lengths clear of another Irish invader, the John Oxx-trained 10-1 Arch Swing. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Simply Perfect in third with 8-1 second choice Indian Ink fifth, 5 1/2 lengths behind the winner. Sander Camillo, long the 1000 Guineas winter-book favorite and still the second choice on Saturday evening, was a late scratch.

By winning, Finsceal Beo went a long way toward measuring up to her name, which means "living legend" in old Irish, as her time over the hallowed Rowley Mile on good to firm ground was a stakes-record 1:34.94. That is 0.34 of a second faster than the time recorded by Cockney Rebel in Saturday's 2000 Guineas, an incredible 1.54 seconds better than the stakes mark set by Virginia Waters in 2005, and just 0.40 of a second off the course record established by Desert Deer in 2002.

An Irish-bred daughter of Mr. Greeley, Finsceal Beo earned European-wide honors as a 2-year-old last fall by virtue of her handy five-length score in the one-mile Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, followed by an equally easy three-length triumph in the seven-furlong, Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over this same Newmarket course. Her Royal Academy dam, Musical Treat, sold for $100,000 while in foal to Finsceal Beo, who later went to her current owner, Michael Ryan, for $408,000 as a Goffs yearling.

Bolger was noncommittal about Finsceal Beo's next start, but it could be the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 27, and/or the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 22.

* Trainer Geoff Huffer announced on Sunday that he has decided to bypass the Epsom Derby with 2000 Guineas winner Cockney Rebel and head for Royal Ascot instead for the one-mile St. James's Palace Stakes on June 19.