EPSOM DOWNS, UK – Love ran out a brilliant winner of the Investec Oaks for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
In a strange race in which pacemakers Passion and Tiempo Vuelo raced clear of their rivals after two furlongs, the 11/10 favourite was briefly niggled along as she came down Tattenham Corner.
However she was soon back on the bridle and was committed two furlongs out, bounding clear of her rivals.
Stablemate Ennistymon (6/1) came through to take second from Frankly Darling (7/4) but they were chasing a shadow down the Epsom straight, Love scoring by nine lengths.
The winning rider told ITV Racing: “It’s never ideal when a race opens up like that. They had a massive break on us but this filly is very special. She didn’t stop at all, she got down to the rail and actually picked up again. She was very impressive and is very, very good.”
O’Brien added: “I’m Delighted really. Everybody was very happy with her here. She’s a home-bred, so we’re delighted for the lads. They put so much into it, day in day out. It’s unbelievable.”
She was a remarkable eighth winner in the race for the trainer who added: ”
On training eight Oaks winners, O’Brien added: “We’re in a very privileged position to train such horses. This filly is very special – it’s very hard that you could ever have a better filly. You saw what she did in the Guineas – winning by three or four lengths – and she doubled it today. It’s only her second run of the year and it’s amazing really.”
On future plans, he said: “Obviously we’ll wait and see and the lads will decide in the next few days. The Irish Oaks (July 18) was a possibility, so we’ll see how she is over the next few days.
“I think you’d have to think about the Arc in the autumn – we know what three-year-old fillies can do in the Arc. I suppose it all depends how she comes out of today and whether she has a midsummer break now or takes another run and has a break after that.
“I think everything is possible with her and it’s just a question of what the right thing is to do. The St Leger comes three weeks or a month before the Arc and if she was going to the Arc, would be it be too tough for a filly to run in the Leger beforehand? I don’t know. We’ll see how she trains and see what the lads really want to do.”
Love was becoming the 49th filly to complete the QIPCO 1000 Guineas/Investec Oaks double and Betfair and Paddy Power cut her to 5/1 (from 20s) for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Sky Bet are 6/1 from the same price.
Their Head of Sports PR Michael Shinners said: “What a fantastic performance from Love who simply destroyed her field to win by a remarkable nine lengths. It will be fascinating to see where she goes next but if it’s the Arc we go 6/1 from 20/1.”