Rock filly Samitar lands G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas

Rock Of Gibraltar conformation

Samitar (3f Rock Of Gibraltar-Aileen’s Gift, by Rainbow Quest) justified the high esteem in which she is held by trainer Mick Channon when running out an impressive winner of the G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas on Sunday.

The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar, who was beaten a head in last season’s G1 Fillies’ Mile, had been unsuited when left in front on both her starts this year, most recently in the G1 French 1,000 Guineas at Longchamp.

But jockey Martin Harley, enjoying his biggest riding success, was able to bide his time aboard the Rock filly before swooping to score by a length and a half.

“I kept saying she was a good filly and it’s hard for people to keep believing in you when things goes wrong. France was a mess, even though she didn’t run badly,” said Channon. “But today she’s been given a chance, she crept into the race and from halfway I said she’d hack up.

“On both of her last runs she made the running but she needs holding up to give her a chance. I’m chuffed for Martin because the owners had confidence in him, he works hard and has stepped up to the mark.”

Harley added: “She was travelling like a winner all the way and had been working well since the last day. Two furlongs out she was never going to get beaten.”

The filly was bred at Norman Court Stud and bought for just 39,000gns as a yearling by Gill Richardson and she has recently been purchased privately by US-based owner Martin Schwartz.

Channon added: “I would love to go to the G1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot but Martin Schwartz has bought her to go to America. Hopefully I can keep her until September after this.”

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