Alexandrova Completes Oaks Double
Updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 5:19 PM
Posted: Sunday, July 16, 2006 6:22 PM
Alexandrova pulled off a Classic double and gave jockey Kieren Fallon a welcome morale boost when she ran away with the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) at The Curragh on Sunday.
The Vodafone Oaks (Eng-I) victress became the eleventh filly to add the Irish Oaks to the Epsom equivalent. In doing so, she gave trainer Aidan O'Brien his first win in the 1&1/2-mile filly classic.
Settled in last until the final three furlongs, Alexandrova picked off each of her rivals down the straight and took the lead with one furlong left to run. She drew off easily to win by four lengths. Scottish Stage, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, had hit the front turning for home, but she couldn't match the winner's quick turn of foot and had to settle for second. Rising Cross, the runner-up at Epsom, finished third, one length further back.
After the race, O'Brien told reporters, "She has an electric turn of speed that I have never seen from a filly and she has an amazing '0-60'. You don't mind if they go fast or slow as her change of speed is so rapid. She is really special."
When asked where the daughter of Sadler's Wells might run next, O'Brien replied, "We will stick to the fillies at the moment and probably go for the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I), and see about taking on the colts after that. She wouldn't mind dropping back to ten furlongs and the Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) could be an option."
For Kieren Fallon, Sunday's victory was his third in the Irish Oaks, following Ramruma in 1999 and Ouija Board in 2004. It was also his second classic win in the span of two weeks, following the victory by Dylan Thomas in the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I). The win was also a much-needed tonic for the embattled jockey, who is in the midst of a London police investigation into alleged race-fixing. Due to the ongoing investigation, he is banned from riding in England.
When asked about the Irish Oaks win, Fallon stated, "I was happy enough with the pace, and once the gaps opened up in the straight I could have gone anywhere and she won easy in the finish. You won't get around faster than they have here, and she has quickened away well, like she did at Epsom, and I would like to see her around next year." He further stated, "I would have to say she is the best filly I have ridden."
Alexandrova is by Sadler's Wells out of the winning Shirley Heights mare, Shouk. She is a half-sister to group I winner, Magical Romance.
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