Saturday 22 October 2016

Qualify is a 50-1 shock

Aidan O'Brien winning the Oaks is not ground-breaking news but the now five-time winning trainer of the first Epsom Classic winning the race with a 50/1 shot is hard to imagine.

Going into today's Epsom Derby, for which O'Brien has failed to establish a real obvious candidate, the master of Ballydoyle proved that none of his three-runners can be ruled out as yesterdays outsider rallied late under a strong Colm O'Donoghue to deny the Coolmore owned and well backed favourite Legatissimo for David Wachman.

Bred by the trainer and his wife Ann-Marie, Qualify was thought highly enough of to run at the Breeders Cup meeting as a juvenile but was beaten over 40-lengths by Legatissimo in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and was 10th, beaten six-and-a-half lengths in the Irish equivalent behind Pleascach.

A clearly joyous Aidan O'Brien said afterwards; "She was always very classy and won her Group Three very easily at the Curragh last year and the plan was to start in Newmarket, go to the Curragh and come here.

"It went a little bit wrong on us in Newmarket but Joseph looked after her and she went to the Curragh and ran a lovely race, she was buried in the field and nobody really spotted her or was talking about her but she ran a lovely race and we were delighted with her and she came forward really well from it."

O'Brien admitted; "We knew stepping up to a mile and a quarter she was going to step forward massively and we didn't know about a mile and a half and Colm gave her a masterful ride."

It was another r-letter success for jockey Colm O'Donoghue and he remarked afterwards; "The thing was just to get her to switch off because she shows us so much pace the thing was to get the trip but she saw it out really strong.

It was an Irish one-two with Legatissimo in second and O'Brien's Diamondsandrubies was fourth with Jack Naylor sixth.

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