Breeders' Cup - At The Races


Alice Springs
  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
  • Likely Jockey: Ryan Moore
  • Owner: Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
  • Age & Breeding: 3-year-old filly; Galileo – Aleagueoftheirown
  • Season Form Figures: 33731811
  • Career Highlight: An emphatic victory in the Falmouth Stakes

So abundant is the talent possessed by Aiden O'Brien that horses of rare ability are often relegated to the position of a mere support act.

Alice Springs is one such example; unheralded while more illustrious and acclaimed stablemates steal the limelight.

A flag-bearer in any yard but her own, she is only third best amongst O'Brien's distaff battalion by most barometers, with both Minding and Found rated more highly. Yet Alice Springs continues to forge her own path, accumulating three Group 1 wins with little fanfare and hinting that she may finally step out the shadow of her contemporaries on November 5th.

Top-level success had long proved elusive for this daughter of Galileo, with a troubled, fast-finishing second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf the nearest she came in a two-year-old campaign that failed to yield a Pattern race win.

However, Alice Springs was a late foal, arriving as she did in May. With nature having scuppered Coolmore's best laid plans, it was always likely that she would do better as a three-year-old.

So it proved. Third-placed efforts in the 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes hinted that she may be reaching the peak of her powers. An emphatic victory in the Falmouth Stakes confirmed the impression.

A disappointment in Deavuille followed, yet O’Brien once again showed that he is a master of his craft, producing his charge at concert pitch to land the Matron Stakes on her next start, overwhelming a decent field with a scintillating change of pace.

Most recently, Alice Springs recorded a workmanlike triumph in the Sun Chariot, digging deep to see off solid collection of older fillies. "Just dossing a bit" was Ryan Moore’s succinct verdict of his mount as he pointed the way to the Santa Anita, suggesting Alice Springs would excel on the firm Californian turf.

It’s been 14-years since Rock Of Gibraltar's luckless defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and it remains one of the few significant races to still elude O’Brien. In Alice Springs he has a filly replete with all of the qualities required to break his Mile duck.