Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Snowfall provides O'Brien with his 9th Oaks victory

04-June-2021 17:25
in General
by Admin

Snowfall followed up her victory in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York with a hugely impressive win in the Epsom Oaks under Frankie Dettori. It was widely acknowledged that the daughter of Deep Impact 'stole' the prize on the Knavesmire due to an astute front running ride by Ryan Moore. However, there was no fluke about this performance as she destroyed her thirteen rivals by no less than sixteen lengths. Seemingly exposed as a juvenile, Aidan O'Brien's filly has improved out of all recognition as a three year old streaking clear at the Surrey track. In doing so, she was providing her trainer with his ninth win the race and Dettori a sixth success in the twelve furlongs event. Time will tell whether she proves as effective on a much quicker surface but she is a top-class filly on a slow surface. She certainly won't be underestimated in the future.

As regards the beaten horses, stablemate Santa Barbara could only fill fifth position under Ryan Moore. Held up early on, she made steady headway turning for home and looked a major threat passing the three furlongs marker. However, her effort petered out soon afterwards leaving the impression the daughter of Camelot didn't stay the trip. Beaten in two Classics this term, it will be interesting to see where she heads next - it will almost certainly be over a mile or ten furlongs next time. Teona was bitterly disappointing and never looked like getting involved. David Egan was pushing his mount along from an early stage and was beaten by the time she turned for home. Perhaps the soft ground found her out or, more likely, she wasn't battle hardened enough for such an assignment, similar to stable companion Gold Wand twelve months earlier. 

I suspect William Haggas will have been left frustrated and disappointed by Al Aasy's narrow defeat in the Coronation Cup earlier on the card. An emphatic winner of his two previous starts at Newbury, the son of Sea The Stars was tackling Group 1 company for the first time. Jim Crowley positioned his partner in rear before making his move on the approach to the two marker. Taking up the running, he appeared to have mastered Pyledriver but Willie Muir's charge rallied well to regain the advantage. A neck separated the pair with seven lengths back to the third. The winner already had a Group 2 victory on his CV and is admirable horse but connections of the runner-up will feel they may not get a better opportunity to win a race at the highest level. Hopefully compensation awaits for Al Aasy but ease in the ground is important to him. I suspect on a more conventional track the result may have been different and Crowley may have delayed his challenge. 


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