Galileo colt Roderic O’Connor rebounded from a rank failure in the English 2000 Guineas to score an on-pace victory in its Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Saturday.
Roderic O’Connor (3c Galileo – Secret Garden by Danehill) is a Swettenham homebred and the Sangster family race him in partnership with Coolmore Stud’s Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.
The winner is yet another advertisement for the Galileo – Danehill cross. It has also produced all-conquering English 2000 Guineas winner Frankel and French 1000 Guineas winner Golden Lilac this year.
Roderic O’Connor dictated terms under Aidan O’Brien’s apprentice son Joseph. “Dad had him ready and he picked up at the three pole,” O’Brien jnr explained. “He stays very well and is very genuine.”
The Ballydoyle colt had the classic won a furlong from home although Dubawi Gold (Dubawi) closed late to get within a length at the finish. The winner’s stablemate Oracle (Danehill Dancer) was third home.
Roderic O’Connor won a Curragh maiden in June last year and, after a four month spell, set the pace in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes to beat all bar Frankel. He rounded out a promising juvenile campaign with a G1 victory in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.
He resumed this year in the English 2000 Guineas but faded out of sight after trying to keep in touch with Frankel. “They went full throttle at Newmarket and he just blew up,” Aidan O’Brien explained. “That can sometimes happen with a horse first time out.”
O’Brien hasn’t decided whether Roderic O’Connor will head for the English Derby on June 4 or the French Derby a day later.
Roderic O’Connor’s dam Secret Garden was Listed winner of the October Stakes at Ascot and Glendale Hcp in Kentucky. She is a direct descendant of Champion English 2YO Durtal (Lyphard).
Secret Garden has also produced the English stakes performer Weatherstaff (Elusive Quality) and a colt and filly by Galileo in 2009 & 2010.