So Easy for Mastercraftsman’s Alpha Centauri in the Falmouth

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4th at NEW, Gr. Stk, £200,000G1 Tattersalls Falmouth S. (8f)Winner: Alpha Centauri (Ire), f, 3 by Mastercraftsman (Ire)

Alpha Centauri alone at the finish of the Falmouth | racingfotos.com

By Tom Frary

Odds of 4-9 are never tempting in a race like the G1 Tattersalls Falmouth S., but TDN Rising Star Alpha Centauri (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) made them look a gift as she sauntered to a facile success at Newmarket on Friday. Following a breakthrough win in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas at The Curragh May 27 with a command performance in Royal Ascot’s G1 Coronation S. June 22, the Niarchos’ grey was always in her comfort zone as jockey Colm O’Donoghue opted to take the stand’s rail and the lead from the outset. Extending her advantage from over two furlongs out, the imposing homebred had 4 1/2 lengths to spare over Altyn Orda (Ire) (Kyllachy {GB}), with Clemmie (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) a length back in third and the rest well beaten. “She’s unbelievable–she was hacking along,” trainer Jessie Harrington said. “The lovely thing about it, as you saw after the race, is she is so relaxed. She doesn’t get upset, she comes in and has all the photographs taken and goes away. I sometimes think before a race is she almost too relaxed and has she gone off or done this or is not quite right. She is amazing–she had to do all the donkey work today, but has a very high cruising speed which really helps her. I’m very lucky to have her.”

Sometimes in these events, it is simply a case of one runner being totally dominant and that was clearly the case here as Alpha Centauri continued to make considerable hay out of the unusually prolonged hot and dry European summer. Whether her fortune will run over to Deauville’s August meeting which is frequently staged on testing turf remains to be seen, but the assembled colts and older milers in the Aug. 12 G1 Prix Jacques le Marois will be hoping the rains come in time to save them from racing’s new boadicea. Soft ground undid her when she was a beaten favourite in fifth for the G1 Moyglare Stud S. at The Curragh in September and when 10th on her return in the G3 Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial also over seven furlongs at Leopardstown Apr. 14, but Colm O’Donoghue made the point this week that it her rise to stardom is due more to advanced maturity than the luck of ground conditions. Her sheer size suggests that racing surface will continue to be an issue, but Jessie Harrington is keen to point her at the Normandy feature next. “It will probably be Deauville now for the Jacques le Marois,” she said. “I know the Niarchos Family loves the Breeders’ Cup, so that is probably on the cards and it will be fantastic if it happens.”

Roger Varian was delighted with the effort of Nurlan Bizakov’s G1 1000 Guineas fifth Altyn Orda, who was disappointing when sixth in the G2 Prix de Sandringham. “She ran a great race and we are very proud of her, she was beaten by a star filly,” he said. “I was delighted she put her Chantilly run to bed and produced a career-best. She showed she deserves to be at this level. She was good as a two-year-old and ran a fine race in the Guineas. We got excited about two out in the Guineas, she didn’t come down the hill but it was a big run. She is a valuable filly now she is group one-placed. There are lots of options, but one race that stands out because of her track form is the [G1] Sun Chariot [at Newmarket Oct. 6].” Clemmie’s connections were also happy, with Coolmore’s UK representative Kevin Buckley saying, “She has run a fair race again. We can’t have any complaints. The winner is an incredible filly who has carried all before her this season. We’re happy enough with her, but we will see how she comes out of this and I’m sure Aidan will sit down and make a plan once we see where we are with her.”

Alpha Centauri was carrying her esteemed silks to glory in this for the first time for the operation since 1990, when Chimes of Freedom (Private Account) took it for the renowned Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos when it was known as the Child S. and run as a group 2. She is also the first winner of a major Guineas to follow up here and adds further lustre to her family which features the recent G1 Prix du Jockey Club hero Study of Man (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). Now she will bid to emulate her second and third dams East of the Moon (Private Account) and Miesque (Nureyev) in adding the Jacques le Marois to her tally. If she is ultimately successful in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, it will be a fourth victory for her immediate family after the dual heroine Miesque and the 2014 scorer Karakontie (Jpn) (Bernstein) and a remarkable seventh for the operation. Her dam Alpha Lupi (Ire) (Rahy) also has a 2-year-old filly by So You Think (NZ) named Etoile Filante (GB) and a yearling filly by Sea the Moon (Ger).

Friday, Newmarket, Britain
TATTERSALLS FALMOUTH S.-G1, £200,000, Newmarket, 7-13, 3yo/up, f, 8fT, 1:37.45, g/f.
1–ALPHA CENTAURI (IRE), 124, f, 3, by Mastercraftsman (Ire)
1st Dam: Alpha Lupi (Ire), by Rahy
2nd Dam: East of the Moon, by Private Account
3rd Dam: Miesque, by Nureyev
O/B-Niarchos Family (IRE); T-Jessica Harrington; J-Colm
O’Donoghue. £113,420. Lifetime Record: G1SW-Ire, 8-5-1-0,
$910,622. *1/2 to Tenth Star (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), SW & GSP-Ire,
GSP-Eng. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Altyn Orda (Ire), 124, f, 3, Kyllachy (GB)–Albanka, by Giant’s
Causeway. O-Nurlan Bizakov; B-Hesmonds Stud Ltd (IRE);
T-Roger Varian. £43,000.
3–Clemmie (Ire), 124, f, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Meow (Ire), by Storm
Cat. O-Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Susan Magnier;
B-Liberty Bloodstock (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. £21,520.
Margins: 4HF, 1, 7. Odds: 0.40, 16.00, 6.00.
Also Ran: Nyaleti (Ire), Arabian Hope, Threading (Ire), Opal Tiara (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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