Aidan O'Brien runners and jockey Ryan Moore continued a big Sunday at The Curragh for Ballydoyle, winning both Group 1 Breeders' Cup Challenge races on the program, first with Mrs. Evie Stockwell's 3-year old filly Fairyland (IRE) outlasting stablemate So Perfect by a short head in the $461,500 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (G1) to earn an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. One race later, Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's 2-year-old filly Love (IRE) captured the $461,500 Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) for an automatic starting position into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Nov. 1-2.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for the Fairyland to start in the Turf Sprint, to be run at five furlongs, and for Love to start in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, which will be run at one mile. Breeders' Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
While veteran female stars Soffia (GB), the 13-8 favorite, and last year's Prix de l'Abbaye (G1) winner Mabs Cross (GB), the 4-1 second choice, were expected to vie for top honors in the five-furlong Derrinstown Stud Flying Five, it was the two O'Brien-trained 3-year-old fillies, both 12-1 shots, who stole the show.
Fairyland, a bay daughter of Kodiac (GB) out of the Pivotal mare Queenofthefairies (GB), powered past pacesetter Caspian Prince (IRE) entering the final furlong on the inside of the course. Stablemate So Perfect, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy, ridden by Donnacha O'Brien, gave chase to the new leader but could not catch her stablemate at the wire.
Fairyland, completed the five furlongs in 57.88 over a course listed as good, earned her second Group 1 score with today's win, after taking the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last year. Today's victory was her first of the year in seven starts. In her prior four races, she was beaten three lengths in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot (G1); finished third in the July Cup (G1) at Newmaket; 10th in the Coolmore Nunthorpe (G1) and eight days ago, ran sixth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the six-furlong Haydock Sprint (G1). Fairyland now has five wins in 12 starts.
“She ran a stormer at Ascot and the ground was a little bit soft at Haydock,” O'Brien said to the Racing Post afterward. “The lads were happy with her and she came out of it well. Both her and So Perfect ran stormers.”
Invincible Army (IRE), finished third followed by Soldier's Call and then Soffia and Mabs Cross in fifth and sixth respectively, the latter two non-factors in the final furlong. Caspian Prince finished seventh.
In the seven-furlong Moyglare Stud Stakes, which had nine 2-year-old filly starters, Love (6-1) began a concerted drive about one furlong out in the middle of the course, passing leader Soul Search (IRE) and increasing the advantage as Moore guided her to the rail. Nasser Al Khalifa's Daahyeh (GB), the 13-8 favorite, closed stoutly in the last 50 yards under William Buick, but fell three-quarters of a length behind in second.
Kentucky-bred So Wonderful (16-1), also trained by O'Brien, finished third, 1 ½ lengths behind the winner, followed by Soul Search (9-1) in fourth. Under the Stars (IRE) finished fifth, with the Niarchos Family's 9-4 second choice Albigna (IRE) finishing in sixth place.
Love, who is now 3 of 6, completed the seven furlongs in 1:24.28 over a good course.
A chestnut daughter of Galileo (IRE) out of the Pivotal (GB) mare Pikaboo (GB), Love won the seven-furlong Jockey Club of Turkey Flash Stakes (G3) on July 25 at Leopardstown by 3 ¼ lengths. She was favored next time out in the seven-furlong Debutante Stakes (G2) at The Curragh on Aug. 23, but after disputing the lead, could not sustain a drive in the final two furlongs and wound up fourth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths.
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