Thursday, May 10, 2007

How Legends Are Made

If you are not already a fan of European racing, now is a great time to spark an interest. Finsceal Beo is grabbing all the headlines after her scintillating victory in the 1000 Guineas which is the first leg of the English Triple Crown for fillies. Finsceal Beo was the 2yo champion filly in Europe and has compiled a 6-4-1-0 career record to date. She is by Mr Greeley out of Musical Treat (Royal Academy) and it trained by Jim Bolger. Her name (pronounced Fin-scale B'yo) is Gaelic for "living legend" and her connections seem intent on fulfilling the promise her name has foretold.

The 1000 Guineas was her first race of the year, and what a performance it was. She lay towards the front end of mid-pack and destroyed her rivals with a quick burst in the final quarter of a mile. The time she recorded (1:34.94) was the fastest ever for not only the 1000 Guineas but for the 2000 Guineas which is the males version of the classic. These races were first run in 1814 and 1809 respectively so it is no small feat to own the fastest ever renewal. You can watch her 1000 Guineas triumph here: 1000 Guineas

The thing that really sets her apart and marks her out as a filly of the highest class is her turn of foot. Her acceleration is breathtaking, you may not get a real feeling for how quickly she disposed of her rivals in the 1000 Guineas video. European camera angles take some getting used to. I think the Rockfel Stakes, which clinched her the 2yo championship, gives you a clearer picture of what she is capable of.

So what is next for the "living legend"? Her connections have decided to attempt an unprecedented sweet of all three 1000 Guineas races. In Europe England, France and Ireland all have their own classic races. Part of the difficulty of sweeping all three 1000 Guineas race is that there is just a week between the English and French versions then a further two weeks to the Irish race. Certainly a testing schedule, especially for a filly who just gave such a huge effort over very hard ground. But her connections are convinced that she is something special, and who would doubt them at this stage. Unfortunately Finsceal Beo is not nominated for the Breeders Cup but given the pioneering spirit of her connections she may get supplemented and if you're looking for a good future bet she may be just that. With her tactical speed and rapier turn of foot she has the perfect running style to excel in America. She is also now more than proven over very firm ground.

I think the ambitious sweep attempt is exactly the kind of thing racing needs. So often we are reconciled to being content with what a talented horse "might have" accomplished, instead of truly getting to see what they can accomplish. Finsceal Beo's connections have it right. When you have a horse that could be one for the ages you might as well go out and make sure they are remembered for the ages.

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