Ouija Board defeats Godolphin in Vodafone Oaks

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  • Ouija Board floated down the hill at Epsom this afternoon under the skilful guidance of champion jockey Kieren Fallon to secure a fitting victory for Lord Derby and his connections.

    It was a historic victory in more senses than one. The Oaks was so-named after the house which the 12th Earl of Derby occupied when one of his horses won the race in its first running. Ouija Board is the current Lord Derby’s only horse in training. For trainer Ed Dunlop it was also a momentous occasion. This is his first classic victory in Britain, and what a first victory it was, as he sets off in his father’s footsteps.

    Ouija Board’s previous form is impressive, and the horse has been said to be improving in training, so her victory comes as little surprise, although the nature of the defeat – the filly was seven lengths clear of her nearest rival – as well as the defeat itself caused huge upset for Godolphin, who were widely considered to have the fillies’ classic in the bag.

    Sundrop made much of the running for the first mile, she never settled and was a spent force around Tattenham Corner, dropping right back in the final furlongs. Her trainer Saeed Bin Suroor was practical about the filly’s defeat, giving no excuses but saying simply: “She didn’t stay and she didn’t handle either the track or the distance. We’ll find another race for her and drop her down to1 1/4 miles.”

    Punctilious gave a solid, if somewhat uninspiring performance to finish in third. Frankie Dettori may have made the right choice between the Godolphin horses, but he could do nothing to beat his rival Kieren Fallon.

    Aidan O’Brien’s runners performed much as had been expected. Galileo’s sister All Too Beautiful travelled well for much of the race, with one or two slip-ups towards the end, and she far from disgraced herself. Necklace meanwhile had little trouble making the trip, but was outclassed by others. Kisses for Me produced an outsider performance.

    1. Ouija Board (Kieren Fallon)
    2. All too Beautiful (Jamie Spencer)
    3. Punctilious (Frankie Dettori)
    4. Necklace (Johnny Murtagh
    5. Crystal (Michael Hills)
    6. Sundrop (Kerrin McEvoy)
    7. Kisses for Me (Paul Scallan)

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