O'Brien doubles up in trials
Aidan O'Brien took both the Guineas trials at Leopardstown thanks to the victories of Furner's Green and Homecoming Queen.
Furner's Green, second to Ballysax winner Light Heavy at the track last month, landed the odds in what looked a weak four-runner renewal of the 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes. The 4-6 shot got the better of Akeed Wafi in the final half-furlong of the Group Three heat to win going away by two and three-quarter lengths.
The Ballydoyle trainer said: "We're delighted with that. He's come on a lot for his first run, when he got a bit tired. He travels well and quickens well. We always had him down as a Guineas/French Derby horse, but which Guineas we don't know yet."
Homecoming Queen (8-1) put up a game front-running performance in the 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes, another Group Three event. Colm O'Donoghue's positive tactics on the race-fit filly had the opposition at full stretch as the race reached fever pitch in the straight.
Fire Lily came with what looked like a winning run, but the 7-4 favourite could find no extra in the last 50 yards and was a neck down at the post. Up, the winner's stable companion, was three-quarters of a length away in third.
Commenting on Homecoming Queen, O'Brien said: "She is a hardy little filly and she improved nicely from the Curragh. She will go into one of the Guineas now."
The victories completed a treble for the yard after the success of another 4-6 shot, Forester, in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden in the hands of Joseph O'Brien.