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INVESTEC OAKS: Love leads the way in Oaks
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INVESTEC OAKS: Love leads the way in Oaks
on 04 July 2020
Love added the Oaks to her 1000 Guineas win in dominating fashion

Love added another classic to her CV as she galloped all over her rivals in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Winner of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last month, the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly made a seamless step up to 12 furlongs as she cruised home by nine lengths in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Stablemate Passion and Tiempo Vuela tried to set the early pace, but they were ignored by the main players, with Moore settling the 11/10 favourite in fifth and Frankie Dettori tracking him on main market rival Frankly Darling.

Turning for home the front pair began to come back to the field, with Moore waiting until the final couple of furlongs to really stoke up his mount, who responded to make effortless progress and take the lead.

Frankly Darling tried to go with her, but Love easily pulled clear, with another stablemate in Ennistymon briefly putting up a challenge for a few strides before Moore let out another notch in the reins and the daughter of Galileo kicked on again.

She galloped home well clear, with Ennistymon just clinging on to second from Frankly Darling by three-quarters of a length. The time was a race record for Investec Oaks, previous best 2m 34.13s set by Enable in 2017.

Moore said: “She was exceptional today. We’ve always thought she’s very good and she proved that in the Guineas, but today she’s taken a step forward.

“Almost her best furlong was her last furlong. She’s got a great temperament and I don’t think she could have been any more impressive, really.

“You never expect to win an Oaks by that far – I don’t know how far she won, but it felt like a very long way.

“Hopefully there’s plenty to look forward to in the future – she’ll be a threat to anything.”

Aidan O'Brien - interviewed from home said: "Before the Guineas we were aware that it was a little bit short for her - we always thought she would get a mile and a quarter well, and obviously she is by Galileo and has a lovely, long, low action.

"As you see she is very genuine, sticks her head out and really tries very hard, so we were always hoping that the extra distance was going to improve her, and we were absolutely delighted with the result. Ryan [Moore] gave her a lovely ride."

There was speculation on TV that she could attempot to win the Triple Crown by going for the St Leger later in the year a feat last done by Oh So Sharp in 1985.

O'Brien continued: "We will wait and see what is next and the lads will decide that, but obviously the Irish Oaks is a possibility. We will see how she is over the next few days before we make any decisions, but that was always going to be a possibility.

"You would have to think about the Arc in the autumn. We know what three-year-old fillies can do in the Arc. We would definitely have to think about it. I guess it will all depend on how she comes out of today and whether she has a midsummer break now or gets in another run and has a break after that, but the Arc has to be a definite possibility.

"The St Leger comes three weeks or a month before the Arc, so would it be too tough for a filly to do that and then go on to the Arc? I don't know, but I suppose we will see how she trains and what the lads want to do."

It was an eighth Oaks win for Aidan O'Brien - Shahtoush (1998), Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015), Minding (2016), Forever Together (2018), Love (2020)


The Investec Oaks (Group 1)

3.40pm, Epsom Downs, Saturday, 4 July, 2020. 1m 4f 6y. £250,000 Total Prize Fund.

1 (5) Love (IRE) (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 11/10 Fav

2 (4) Ennistymon (IRE) (Evie Stockwell) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Seamie Heffernan 6/1

3 (3) Frankly Darling (Anthony Oppenheimer) John Gosden 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori 7/4

4 (6) Queen Daenerys (IRE) (H.H. SH Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa) Roger Varian 3-9-00 William Buick 25/1

5 (1) Passion (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 16/1

6 (2) Bharani Star (GER) (Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited) Peter Chapple-Hyam 3-9-00 Oisin Murphy 50/1

7 (8) Gold Wand (IRE) (Mohamed Khalid Abdulrahim) Roger Varian 3-9-00 Andrea Atzeni 22/1

8 (7) Tiempo Vuela (A E Oppenheimer and Sophie) John Gosden 3-9-00 Martin Harley 100/1

Time: 2m 34.06s (race record for Investec Oaks, previous best 2m 34.13s set by Enable in 2017) Distances: 9, ¾, 5, hd, 3,

Aidan O'Brien - eighth Investec Oaks winner from 66 runners

Investec Oaks winners: Shahtoush (1998), Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015), Minding (2016), Forever Together (2018), Love (2020)

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