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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Romanised victory in Irish 2000 Guineas 'a dream come true'

The bay son of Holy Roman Empire came with a strong late run to win from the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair US Navy Flag and Gustave Klimt

Romanised ridden by jockey Shane Foley on the way to winning the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare. Press Association
Romanised ridden by jockey Shane Foley on the way to winning the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare. Press Association

Romanised provided Irish trainer Ken Condon with his first Classic success when winning the Irish 2000 Guineas under jockey Shane Foley at the Curragh.

The bay son of Holy Roman Empire came with a strong late run to win from the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair US Navy Flag and Gustave Klimt. Ryan Moore on board US Navy Flag led for most of the race followed by Elarqam with Jim Crowley atop. Foley got to work on Romanised on the final 200-metre mark and came home a convincing winner by two and a half lengths.

Godolphin’s Symboliztion was fifth and Elarqam, the pre-race favourite in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, was a disappointing sixth in the 13-runner field.

“I had to make up quite a bit of ground to get to them, so I just nursed him and he got there. I quietly fancied this horse, so it is not a great shock to me,” Foley said in the post-race interview.

“The plan was to get him relaxed – I nursed him around and he picked up well. Ken had stood by me as an apprentice and I'm delighted to ride a Classic winner for him.”

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An understandably ecstatic Condon said he was delighted for owner Robert Ng and that he sensed in the build-up to Saturday's race that Romanised would come good.

“We always thought a lot of him and to win a Classic on our doorstep is a dream come true,” he said.

“He showed us early last year that he could be a good one. We have a small team [30 horses] and you are always looking for one like him.

“He was a good second in the Solario last year and was unlucky in running on his first start of the season at Naas. He did his best bit of work ever on Tuesday and I thought he'd run a big race today if he settled.

“It's pretty special to step through the door – only a few have opened and win a Classic.

“He's in the St James Palace and the Commonwealth Cup but it will take a few days for all of this to sink in and we'll wait a week or two before making plans.”

Meanwhile, Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is confident that Soliloquy, sixth in the English 1000 Guineas last month, will be fit to line up in the Irish equivalent.

The Dubawi filly is on for a re-match with Happily, to whom she finished a length and a quarter behind at Newmarket.

“She’s come out of the Newmarket Guineas really well, and I feel that a repeat of her win in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn at Newmarket previously would put her right there,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“We are taking on the might of Aidan O’Brien — he runs four in the fillies’ Classic — but I am very happy with our filly.”

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