Horses To Follow » Maoineach


Maoineach displayed a really willing attitude in landing the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday. Settled in mid-division by Kevin Manning off what looked like a sedate enough very early pace, she was sixth but no more than two and a half lengths off the pace on the crown of the home turn. She looked in trouble for a couple of strides as the pace increased and Manning got down to the drive position as Smart Coco moved off the rail, but that was necessary in order that she would hold her place in amongst horses, and she was back on an even keel as they straightened up for home.

Manning elected to go through horses, inside Hallie’s Comet instead of outside, which was the more precarious route but also the most efficient, and the filly’s pace enabled her to exploit the gap that appeared between that filly and favourite Chintz. Once in the front rank, Maoineach showed an impressive turn of foot to come clear along with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ runner-up Heart Shaped, who had sneaked through on the rail. The duel that looked likely never really materialised, as Maoineach proved by far the stronger, and she powered clear to win well.

This was just the third run of Maoineach’s life. It is significant that Jim Bolger allowed her take her chance in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes last August on her seasonal debut, and the filly rewarded her trainer’s faith by running on strongly to land that contest at a big price against four previous winners. On her only other start before Sunday, she ran inexplicably poorly in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc day, finishing last of 16 behind Proportional. Perhaps it was the loose ground that did it for her that day, perhaps it all happened a little quickly for one so inexperienced after she missed the break, 16 juveniles hurtling around Longchamp. Whatever the reason, you can easily put a line through that performance. She was much more at home on the faster ground at Leopardstown on Sunday, and there was a lot to like about the way that she quickened among horses and stuck her neck out, grabbing the ground and wanting to go forward.

Maoineach is by Congaree, a son of Arazi who was a multiple Grade 1 winner from seven to 10 furlongs in the States, and she is a half-sister to Tiz Now Tiz Then, an eight-to-nine-furlong performer, from the family of Dispute, a multiple Grade 1 winner over nine furlongs. Maoineach showed lots of pace on Sunday over seven furlongs, but she should have no difficulty getting a mile. As such, although her stable companion Cuis Ghaire is higher in the ante post market, she is a live Guineas contender, if that is the route that her trainer chooses for her.

© The Irish Field, 4th April 2009