Henry Longfellow Wins The Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh

Henry Longfellow Completes Group 1 Double For Ballydoyle

Aidan O’Brien celebrated a landmark 4,000th winner when Henry Longfellow (2c Dubawi - Minding, by Galileo) extended his unbeaten record in the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

A debut winner in August, the beautifully bred bay joined an illustrious honour roll when taking the Group 2 Futurity Stakes, with both wins coming over Sunday’s course and distance of seven furlongs. Sent off favourite under Ryan Moore, he tracked the pace until cruising into the lead two furlongs from home and began to draw clear approaching the final furlong. Pushed out, he ran on strongly to score by five lengths, as Islandsinthestream (Wootton Bassett) did his best to narrow the gap in second.

“He looks a very special horse,” Aidan O’Brien said of his 12th National Stakes winner. “He travels and he quickens and that is very difficult for other horses to handle. We'll see what happens, but that might be his last run of the season.”

O’Brien went on to describe Henry Longfellow’s dam Minding (Galileo) as “the best mare we ever trained.” The daughter of Galileo won seven Group 1’s for Coolmore partners, while her own dam Lillie Langtry (Danehill Dancer) succeeded at the highest level on two occasions.

Henry Longfellow marked a second Group 1 win of the day for O’Brien and Coolmore partners, with Warm Heart (3f Galileo - Sea Siren, by Fastnet Rock) having earlier overcome a stumbling start in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille.

The daughter of Galileo completed a hat-trick of wins in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and progressed to beat her elders in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks last time out. Reunited with James Doyle at Longchamp, she recovered from the aforementioned misfortune to race prominently for much of the way and was shaken up approaching the two furlong marker. Running on well, she led from 150 yards out and kept on well to deny Melo Melo (Gleneagles) by a short neck on the line.

“She’s a star,” James Doyle said after the race. “It didn’t work out great early as she knuckled three times out the stalls. It was a bit tight turning in, so she was very brave to get out and she hit the line well.”

Over at the Curragh, O’Brien confirmed the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf as Warm Heart’s next target, for which she is now 4/1. The dual Group 1 winner was bred by Coolmore, who race her in partnership with Westerberg.