The first week of the British Flat season may have started late and in somewhat surreal circumstances, but there was a comforting sense of familiarity to be found in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas as Love delivered another win in the race for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
In the last five years O’Brien has now saddled four winners of the Classic, though Moore has not been aboard the right member of the Ballydoyle battalion since 2016 when partnering Minding.
There was no difficult decision to be made this year after O’Brien entered just one runner, and one was all he needed as Love dominated her rivals to give the trainer a sixth win in the race and Moore a fourth.
Already a Group 1 winner in Ireland when claiming the Moyglare last season, Love’s previous visit to the Rowley Mile ended in a length and three quarters defeat to Quadrilateral in the Fillies’ Mile, but the daughter of Galileo emphatically reversed that form with a four-and-a-quarter-length success.
Challenging on the outside of the field, Love travelled supremely well for Moore before hitting overdrive, and the jockey said: “She was in control of the race a long way out. She won as she liked, really. She’s a very uncomplicated filly and we’ve always thought an awful lot of her.
“She won the Moyglare last year and we expected her to win the Fillies’ Mile – I don’t know if it was too soft for her that day. She’s a typical Galileo filly. If it wasn’t for her last run last year you’d have been pretty confident she was the one to beat today.”
By virtue of the fact British racing has only just resumed, and with Irish racing set to follow suit on Monday, O’Brien, like all trainers, has been eagerly waiting to have runners and Love became his first winner of the season in Britain; a spectacular way to start the campaign.
The trainer, speaking via a Zoom press conference, said: “We knew the horses were well but we did stop and start [with the preparation] so you have to be a little careful. When you back off them some horses thrive, some don’t and some need work to make them thrive. It’s not as straightforward as usual and thanks to everyone we were delighted with them coming here.”