The victory of Tuesday in today’s Group One Cazoo Oaks at Epsom Downs means that trainer Aidan O’Brien is now the most successful trainer ever in the five British Classics with 41 victories. The master of Ballydoyle was previously tied on 40 British Classic successes alongside 19th century handler John Scott.
Boasting a perfect Epsom Downs pedigree being by 2001 Derby winner Galileo and out of Lillie Langtry, making her a full-sister to 2016 Oaks heroine Minding, Tuesday came into today’s contest on the back of placed efforts in both the British and Irish versions of the 1000 Guineas.
Produced by jockey Ryan Moore to deliver her challenge two furlongs from home, Tuesday battled bravely to repel the strong late challenge of 6-4 Favourite Emily Upjohn and score by a short-head in a photo finish. It was a fourth Oaks success for Moore following Snow Fairy (2010), Minding (2016) and Love (2020).
For O’Brien, this was a 10th Oaks victory while it was a ninth for owner Sue Magnier, who shares ownership of Tuesday with Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Georg von Opel.
Aidan O’Brien said: “We are absolutely delighted, she’s never run further than a mile and today was actually her birthday – she wasn’t three until today – and we always thought that a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half was going to suit her well. Ryan rode her very confidently and they quickened very well, so it’s unbelievable really.
“I’m delighted for everyone at Ballydoyle and everyone at Coolmore, everyone has been so involved in this so I’m delighted for everyone really.”
On breaking the record for Classic wins as a trainer, O’Brien said: “it is unbelievable and it feels unbelievable for us to be a part of the whole thing. We’re a small part of the team and I feel very privileged to be a part but I’m just so delighted for the team, everybody puts in so much work day in and day out and also day and night so everyone gets the return to their debts. She’s 100% homebred and Ryan gave her a brilliant ride and the guys at home have done a brilliant job with her – there’s so many people involved and I’m so grateful, they make this happen.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh Moore (Ryan Moore’s brother, who was injured in a fall at Haydock Park in April) the whole time. He’s the first thing we speak about every day so please God he’s on the road to recovery and please God he will keep on recovering. It’s unbelievable to be here and Ryan gave her a fantastic ride so I’m delighted for him and everybody involved. Josh is the first thing we speak about every single day and that’s where our thoughts are the whole time.
“Ryan rode her very cold and very confidently. We felt that a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half was going to suit her well, you can never be sure but it wasn’t a mad pace. Ryan had her a good bit back but next thing she was challenging so he gave her a brilliant ride to be able to time when he was going to get there at that stage. She is a baby and she was running in Classics before she was three and she was only three today so it just goes to show what a fantastic filly she is. She’s a total baby and Ryan said she rode very babyish still, so that’s a great thing to hear when the winner races like that and Ryan is saying that about her.
“She’s run on all types of ground but obviously safe ground is perfect. With this type of filly you’re going to be looking at an Irish Oaks and things like that, there’s plenty time between now and then and whether (her next start) is over a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half won’t bother her and even at a mile she’s very competitive.
“It’s an honour for me to be involved with this and in the position I’m in. Everyone works so hard and it’s day and night. It’s a real privilege.
“It was a brilliant ride, when you look at where Ryan was turning in at the post, it was unbelievable really.”
Successful jockey Ryan Moore said: “She’s a very good filly, and she’s only three today. She’s got an awful lot of talent and she’s very similar to Minding, although she’s got a bit of catching up to do still (Minding won seven Group One contests).
“I loved her last year and I always thought she’d be a Classic filly, but I suppose that being a late foal it took her a while. She ran a very good race in the Guineas, then ran well again in Ireland and she’s come back here only 12 days later, which only Aidan could do.
“I always thought she’d be a mile-and-a-quarter or mile-and-a-half filly. Minding won a Guineas and an Oaks, and a Champion Stakes and a Nassau. Both of them have a lot of class and a lot of ability, and I think this filly will continue to progress.
“I was in front a bit sooner than I wanted to be and she was a little bit raw with me and she got a little bit unbalanced out there. I felt she had more to give and I’d have been disappointed if we’d got beat. I always thought I was holding on, but then on the line I wasn’t sure.
“She was awkward at the start, then I followed Nashwa, but I wasn’t that happy with what Nashwa was following, so I wasn’t quite in the spot I’d have liked to be in, but Frankie was with me and the pace was even enough. It’s only my filly’s birthday today but Lillie Langtry is an unbelievable dam.
“She put herself in with every chance very quickly, and when she got to the front she was still a little bit babyish and got a little bit unbalanced in the middle of the track. I always felt she was holding on, and although on the line it was a bit closer than it should have been I felt there was another gear there.
“She’s taken a big jump forward from 12 days ago in the Irish Guineas. Stepping up in trip suited her, but I think she’ll be effective back at ten and I see no reason why she won’t continue to thrive.
“I think she’s a high-class filly. We always thought she was but it’s just taken a while to get here. She’s coming now though, and she’s going to be exciting.
“Aidan has peaked her again only 12 days after the Irish Guineas, and only he can do that. He did the same with Minding who got beaten in the Irish Guineas then came here and won. She’s only just three and I think there’s more to come.
“She and Minding are similar size and very similar attitudes. Both have a lot of class, but this filly might be the stronger stayer.”
John Gosden, trainer of runner-up Emily Upjohn and the third Nashwa (4-1), said: “She was badly left back in last and she had to circle the field.
“They went an even pace but she has just lost it at the start – it is as simple as that.
“She has got a lot of ability to come from last and get there. It was a hell of a run. That is bad luck you can’t get left that far and circle the whole field. It is not her style of racing.
“The plan was to sit third or fourth but the plan went out the window as it so often does at the start. She was in front everywhere bar the line. I think if she had a clean break and not slipped and lost her legs it might have been a different result but that’s racing.
“You can’t give away that ground in a Classic. To sweep around the field like that was a brave effort. She handled the track and just lost it at the start – it was as simple as that.
“She was in front before the line and just after the line but not on it.
“Nashwa has run great. I think she just ran out of stamina the last 50 yards up the hill. She would be better dropping back in trip but she has run a superb race.”
Frankie Dettori, who was aboard runner-up Emily Upjohn, said: “She fell over, she slipped, lost her footing, fell over.
“I found myself last and I had to pass the whole field. I wish I had the pleasure of the rail, but I didn’t. I had to make a challenge on the outside; she made a lot of ground and she was an unlucky loser.”
Asked whether, when he looked down at the start of the race, he considered pulling up, Dettori replied: “No, I was seeing if she had all her shoes. Generally when they do that they leave a shoe on the ground.
“Listen, it’s one of those things. You’ve seen her – she’s a good one.”
Hollie Doyle, rider of the third Nashwa, achieved the best finishing position ever for a female rider in a Classic. She said: “I’m disappointed she didn’t win, but I’m not disappointed with her performance at all. She ran a solid race and when she’s stepped back to 10 furlongs there will hopefully be big days ahead.
“I appreciate that it’s the best placing ever by a female rider in a Classic, but it doesn’t make a lot of difference to me. If I could ever win one though it would be amazing.”
Ed Walker, trainer of Kawida (40-1, 5th), said: “I’m very pleased as she has massively outrun her odds.
“She got a bit outpaced from coming out of Tattenham Corner to the two pole and then she started to find her rhythm in the last furlong and a half.
“She stays very well and she probably didn’t quite have the gears that the best horses in the race had. She was beaten by the right horses but I think more of a stamina test on softer ground would suit her.
“She will go a mile and three quarters down the line. Obviously you always want to finish closer but when you are an outsider like that you hope they don’t run like one and I think she has shown there she is as good as we hoped.
“We have still got a good filly on our hands and we will try and plot a course where we have our ground conditions. I think we will probably step out of Group One company next time as she has her Listed win and is Group Three placed and is now an Oaks fifth.
“Long-term, the Fillies and Mares race at Ascot on Champions Day would be an ideal race but then there are races like the Park Hill at Doncaster we can look at before.”
Tom Clover, trainer of Rogue Millennium (22-1, 7th) said: “She almost hit the front two out but she is a big girl and I just wonder if she will improve with a bit more time under her belt. She has run a really good race. Perhaps just at this grade she is not quite there yet but with time under her belt she will continue to improve.”
Charlie Appleby, trainer With The Moonlight (11-1, 11th), said: “She didn’t stay – as simple as that.
“The ground wouldn’t have been ideal and there was a concern stepping up in trip and with the ground. It was one of those ones that we knew we were going into unknown territory two down and that is where she ran out of petrol.
“We can drop back and make plans from there. There is a lot of speed on the dam’s side we just hoped Frankel might have stamped that bit of stamina into her.
“To be fair she has done well to win over 10 furlongs on pedigree and as I said to William today he has had a perfect sit and you either stay or you don’t so there is no point trying to coax her around there to finish. She might be a filly we could do some travelling with potentially. We will see how she comes out of this mentally. “Quick ground in America might just suit her and it might be worth having a look over there. She has got that little bit of temperament in her, not in a bad way, but she is on it as that is why you saw her in a hood. The way she won at Newmarket hopefully if we find the right spot you would like to think there is a good one in her.”