The 2015 running of the Investec Oaks today (Friday 5 June) was won by Qualify — a 50-1 shot and the least fancied of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s three runners.

This was the Ballydoyle trainer’s fifth victory in the race and made all the more special as he also bred the filly. She was ridden to victory by Colm O’Donoghue, having only his fourth ride in the Epsom Classic.

“She’s always shown us a lot of pace and she’s a well-balanced filly,” said Colm. “The thing was just to get her to switch off and to see if she’d get the trip. She saw it out really strong.”

Connections were less surprised by the result than bookies and punters.

The trainer assessed: “She was always very classy — she won a Group Three very easily at The Curragh last year. We didn’t know about a mile and a half but she’s by Fastnet Rock out of a Galileo mare and when the going gets tough they usually don’t disappoint you. Colm gave her a masterful ride.”

The favourite Legatissimo, another Irish raider sent out by David Wachman and ridden by Ryan Moore, finished a close second. In third was the Luca Cumani-trained Lady Of Dubai, with Adam Kirby in the saddle.

A steward’s enquiry was called to look at multiple incidents of interference down the home straight but this didn’t affect the winner.

The opening day at Epsom provided plenty more surprise results and 16-year-old apprentice jockey Eddy Greatrex grabbed the headlines with his classy ride on David Taylor’s homebred Elbereth to win the Investec Wealth & Investment Stakes earlier in the afternoon. This 16-1 chance was trained by Andrew Balding.

“It was a big opportunity and it just panned out,” said Eddy. “She’s game as anything – we turned in and I saw a gap. She tends to hang left but I’m just glad to get a winner for the boss. It was very hard to ride round Epsom but I think I got the hang of it in the end.”

Don’t miss the full report from Epsom in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound, out Thursday 11 June.

Picture by Bill Selwyn