There has always been a hint of something special about Molly Bloom, and that obvious potential turned into breathtaking Group 1 brilliance in Saturday’s New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.
Matamata trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott had been working backwards from the $500,000 fillies’ classic with Molly Bloom ever since her eye-catching third placing in her only two-year-old appearance in April.
The spring campaign has been far from smooth sailing, with the highs of an outstanding maiden win at Taupo in September quickly replaced by the lows of luckless runs for fifth at Hastings and fourth in the Group 2 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe.
But it was all about having Molly Bloom at the peak of her powers in the 1000 Guineas, and on Saturday she delivered in spectacular style.
Rider Joe Doyle’s hopes of taking up a midfield position were extinguished within the first 200m of the race.
Molly Bloom jumped only fairly from gate 11, then had a torrid time with multiple bumps and checks along Riccarton’s back straight. She dropped right out the back, eventually settling in third-last among a capacity field of 18.
Molly Bloom still had only two behind her rounding the home turn, but Doyle brought her to the outside and turned on the turbochargers.
With an exceptional turn of foot, Molly Bloom roared home out wide on the track.
Only Impendabelle, Tulsi and Luberon were still in front of her passing the 100m, and Molly Bloom continued her booming finish and swept straight past them to score by a length.
“I had it in my head to be about halfway or three-quarters of the way back through the field, but it just wasn’t happening,” Doyle said.
“I just kept getting chopped back. We had to go to Plan B, then Plan C, then Plan D. Luckily enough this filly was good enough to overcome all that.
“It’s a credit to Lance and Andrew. They’ve had so much faith in this filly all the way through, and today has shown that they were dead right. They’ve been massive supporters of mine ever since I came to New Zealand, and I’m so grateful for that. They’re easy to ride for, and it’s great to get this result for them today.”
Molly Bloom gave O’Sullivan a first training success in the 1000 Guineas to go with his three wins as a jockey aboard Olga’s Pal (1988), Nimue (1992) and Snap (1993).
“It’s a huge thrill,” O’Sullivan said.
“We’ve talked quite a big game with this filly all the way through, so for her to produce a performance like that is really exciting.
“We were a bit concerned with about 600m to run, but it was some performance that she put up.
“There’s a lot of people that have a small share in this filly, including my daughter’s partner, and it’s great to get this result for them. Big thanks to all of our staff at home, and Scotty as well – we’ve been training together for a long time now and we get a thrill out of winning any race, let alone a big race like this.”
Molly Bloom was bred by Seaton Park, who offered her in Book 1 at Karaka 2022 as a yearling, and Wexford Stables secured her for $150,000.
From five starts, Molly Bloom has now recorded two wins, a third, a fourth and a fifth, earning $309,675 in stakes for her big group of owners.
Notably, Saturday’s outstanding 1000 Guineas win made Molly Bloom the first Group One winner for Ace High.
His oldest progeny are three-year-olds, and Molly Bloom has already been joined by fellow three-year-old winners Bezique, My Lips Are Sealed, O’Ziggy, Tanganyika and Leroy Brown.