Racing: Attraction doubles her Guineas collection

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The Independent Online

The pages of the tome of history can be weighty to overturn but for Attraction yesterday, the task was easy. The Duke of Roxburghe's filly, trained so expertly by Mark Johnston at Middleham, skipped blithely over the emerald acres of the Curragh to win the 83rd Irish 1,000 Guineas. And in so doing, she became the first to add that Classic to the senior version on the Rowley Mile, which she had annexed three weeks previously.

The pages of the tome of history can be weighty to overturn but for Attraction yesterday, the task was easy. The Duke of Roxburghe's filly, trained so expertly by Mark Johnston at Middleham, skipped blithely over the emerald acres of the Curragh to win the 83rd Irish 1,000 Guineas. And in so doing, she became the first to add that Classic to the senior version on the Rowley Mile, which she had annexed three weeks previously.

As at Newmarket, Attraction, sent off 2-1 favourite to succeed where Wince, Harayir and Las Meninas had recently failed, made all the running. Her trademark speed and enthusiasm under Kevin Darley soon burned off most of her 14 rivals, with one of the locals, Alexander Goldrun, the only one able to go with. But Attraction always had her measure, even through the final against-the-collar charge to the line where any stamina deficiencies might have been tested, and had an easy length to spare.

Two lengths adrift two more British-trained fillies took the minor places, David Loder's Illustrious Miss (like the winner, supplemented at £28,000 on Tuesday) staying on to deprive more prominently ridden Kinnaird (Pat Haslam) for third. The other raiders, Secret Charm and Majestic Desert, were fifth and seventh, split by the best of the Ballydoyle quintet, Necklace.

Attraction looks as though she was designed by committee, with her crooked, pigeon-toed forelegs, a disproportionately high, huge backside and a high-reaching, widely splayed, windmilling galloping action. But camel she ain't; yesterday's win was her seventh in seven runs.

"I was glad something came at her as it gave her something to go with," said Darley. "She just pricked those big, floppy ears of hers and kicked on again. She gets the mile really well but has that terrific speed to bother them early on."

Famously, the daughter of Efisio should have been sold as a yearling but was not, as the Duke was ashamed to send a beast with conformation such as hers to market. The fact that she ended up with Johnston, who is also a vet, was a blessing, for he was able to nurse her to soundness when she broke a bone in her foot seven months ago.

The filly is something of a freak and yesterday's win confirmed her as the personality horse of the season so far. "I was having second thoughts about saying she's the best I've ever trained, but she is just incredible," said Johnston. "She's got a bit of a reputation as a fireball, but in fact she's very relaxed."

Future plans for Attraction have yet to be formulated but the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot looks the preferred route. Ante-post specialists Coral have installed her as 6-4 for that mile contest, but have also made her 11-2 favourite for the six-furlong Golden Jubilee Stakes.

"I don't know whether to keep her to a mile or prove that she has the speed," added Johnston, "I suppose my preference would be to keep her to a mile."

Aidan O'Brien was yesterday able to issue an upbeat bulletin about Yeats, the Derby favourite, 24 hours after negative vibes about minor muscle stiffness. "There's nothing to be worried about," he said. "I'm happier with him now than I was yesterday and if it was any other horse I wouldn't have said anything. It was the fact that he is Derby favourite so we thought it only fair to let everyone know."

Another Ballydoyle Derby entry, Meath, put paid to Epsom hopes for market springer Cairdeas by beating him a length and a half in the Gallinule Stakes and in the older-horse department Powerscourt burst on to the top-level middle-distance scene with a devastating six-length win in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

In other Group One action, last year's star filly Six Perfections suffered defeat on her first venture beyond a mile by the Italian raider Prince Kirk in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

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