With over a furlong to race in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas, it looked as if Donnacha O’Brien was about to pinch the Classic on the front-running longshot Could It Be Love with, seemingly, most of her rivals fully stretched and appearing held.

But that would be to discount the stealthy headway being made by ALPHA CENTAURI (IRE) who kept finding to lead inside the final half furlong and collect the spoils by nearly two lengths.

This time last year the strapping grey daughter of Mastercraftsman (IRE) was on everyone’s lips, unbeaten two-from-two and strongly fancied to make it three straight at Royal Ascot. In the Albany Stakes, she ran a neck second to Different League and in her two subsequent starts she failed to make much of an impression, in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the 1,000 Guineas Trial last month.

Those sub-par performances connections have been attributed to her being unsuited by the prevailing heavy tracks and her return to form on Sunday came on a much sounder surface at The Curragh.

Revelling in her first Classic success, winning trainer Jessica Harrington said that ALPHA CENTAURI (IRE) would next target the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The winner’s lineage goes back through the generations of horses carrying the famous silks of the Niarchos Family with her dam being Alpha Lupi (IRE) whose previous best foal was the Listed scorer Tenth Star (IRE), also runner-up in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes for Aidan O’Brien.

It was a red letter day for Coolmore stallion Mastercraftsman (IRE) as the smart colt NEUFBOSC landed the Prix du Lys at ParisLongchamp, a notable trial for the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in July.  

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