Alice Springs gives O’Brien first Falmouth victory
8 Jul 2016
Ryan Moore chalks up fifth win of this year's QIPCO British Champions Series aboard filly
Moore is all smiles as connections enjoy the victory of Alice Springs. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore teamed up for more QIPCO British Champions Series glory as the heavily backed Alice Springs won the Tattersalls 250th Year Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in decisive style.
Moore kept things simple on the 9/4 winner – tracking Very Special and Irish Rookie before attacking two out and pulling two and a half lengths clear in the final furlong. Very Special and Always Smile, of Godolphin, chased her home but the principal hope of the boys in blue, 11/10 favourite Usherette, never got competitive and beat only one home.
Alice Springs, who had been 7/1 when the final field was revealed, provided O’Brien with his first win in this race. The daughter of Galileo was Moore’s fifth success in the 2016 QIPCO British Champions Series, equalling his best tally.
O’Brien was attending the funeral of Phonsie O’Brien, brother of the late Vincent O’Brien, who died on Tuesday at the age of 86.
In his absence Kevin Buckley, Coolmore’s UK representative, said: “She was terrific today, she really was.
“I was impressed when I saw her in the paddock of the back of seeing her in Ascot, not just with her physique but also her general wellbeing.
“She went out, she had the ground and admittedly there was a small tail wind but she’s shaved a second off the track record and it was a class performance. She’s been the bridesmaid a few times so she really deserved that.
“I think how she was ridden helped her – Ryan gave her a peach of a ride, and ground conditions were just perfect on for her. She is improving all the time, physically and mentally.”
Buckley is uncertain of her future programme. “This was the target for her Group One win but we could keep her at a mile or we could step her up to a mile-and-a-quarter, so we have loads of options with her now,” he said.
Moore added: “She’s definitely improved, the trainer said that beforehand and he’s usually right.”
Usherette, an impressive winner at Newmarket and Royal Ascot this season, was a big disappointment.
Godolphin’s racing manager John Ferguson said: “Usherette ran flat. She didn’t feel herself and did not feel the same filly as she was at Royal Ascot. That happens sometimes.
“She ran a flat one last year as well. Maybe that just happens. As Ascot last time she was running away but there was none of that today. Girls can sometimes do things a bit differently.”