Pictured above: Top trainer Aidan O’Brien is approached by the traditional Derby Festival travellers – lucky heather, was this the secret of today’s success?!

INVESTEC OAKS FACTS for the 2018 race

Youngest filly: Bye Bye Baby, foaled 5th April 2015.

Oldest filly: Give And Take, foaled 4th February 2015.

 

Youngest jockey: Donnacha O’Brien, 19, Forever Together.

Oldest jockey: Seamie Heffernan, 45, I Can Fly.

Winning-most jockey: Ryan Moore, two wins (Snow Fairy 2010, Minding 2016).

First Investec Oaks ride: Padraig Beggy, Flattering (Beggy had his first ride in a Classic at Epsom last year aboard Investec Derby winner Wings Of Eagles), Wayne Lordan, Bye Bye Baby.

 

Winning-most trainer: Aidan O’Brien with six winners from 54 runners (Shahtoush 1998, Imagine 2001, Alexandrova 2006, Was 2012, Qualify 2015, Minding 2016). O’Brien runs five in the premier fillies’ Classic this year.

William Haggas (Give And Take) is the only other trainer in the race to have a previous winner, Dancing Rain 2011.

Trainer with the fewest Investec Oaks runs: Clive Cox, one runner (Miracle Seeker, 11th in 2008).

Oldest trainer: William Haggas 57 (Give And Take).

Youngest trainer: Charlie Appleby 42 (Wild Illusion).

 

Owners debuting: Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah (Ejtyah), Nicholas Jones (Give And Take), Dr Bridget Drew and David Keast (Perfect Clarity).

Winning-most owner: Coolmore partnersips, five wins (Shahtoush 1998, Imagine 2001, Alexandrova 2006, Was 2012, Minding 2016).

 

Most represented sire: Galileo – four runners Bye Bye Baby, Flattering, Forever Together, Magic Wand. Galileo is represented by two grandsons Ejtyah (Frankel) and Perfect Clarity (Nathaniel), taking his representation to six from nine runners.

All bar one runner (Wild Illusion, Dubawi x Rumh (Monsun)) has Sadlers Wells in the first three generations.

The 2018 Investec Derby Festival – Winners

Investec Ladies Day – Friday 1st June 2018.

 

2pm Investec Woodcote EBF Race 6f 3y

Won by COSMIC LAW (owner John Dance), trained by Richard Fahey, ridden by PJ McDonald, at odds of 10/1.

Cosmic Law, a 10/1 shot, ran his rivals ragged when producing a scintillating display in the Investec Woodcote Conditions Race.

Ridden by PJ McDonald, the No Nay Never two-year-old colt was highly impressive, quickening away in the style of a very good horse to record a devastating six-length victory from the 12/1 runner-up Usain Boat, in a time of 1 minute 11.95 seconds.

Trainer Richard Fahey said: “I was expecting him to run well. But it’s amazing – you sit in the car on the way here, reading the paper, and you see he is the outsider. You think I’m getting this very wrong here – or someone is, anyway. It’s just nice to see him win. He’s a grand horse and a horse we like. He’s quite a laidback character and is getting better with racing, but to win by six lengths – I didn’t see that.

 “I am delighted for [owner] John Dance, who is a big supporter of the northern trainers. […] He invests a lot of money and it’s great that he is getting the reward.”

 

2.35pm Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap 1m 113y

Won by MEDBURN DREAM (owner Eddie Evans), trained by Peter Hedger, ridden by Franny Norton, at odds of 5/1.

The Peter Hedger-trained Medburn Dream survived a stewards’ enquiry to land the £50,000 Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap at Epsom Downs under Franny Norton.

Always prominent, the 5/1 shot hung towards the stands’ side rail in the home straight, coming across David O’Meara’s Mythical Madness (11/2).

However, Medburn Dream kept on gamely in the closing stages to score by a length and a quarter in the extended mile contest.

Owner, 78-year-old Peter Hedger, started out as a racehorse transporter before taking out a training licence in 1989. He has saddled four winners at Epsom from seven runners in the last five years. Medburn Dream is unbeaten in two starts for Hedger having scored at Windsor on his debut for the yard earlier this year.

Hedger said: “I said to a lot of people that I really fancied this horse today and I didn’t want to have egg on my face.

“Good ground or softer is his preferred ground and he is as genuine as they come.”   

Norton said: “I was fairly confident that I would keep the race – I’m just a bit disappointed that I’ve got a three-day ban for it. My horse does hang right and I took Mythical Madness slightly off his line, but my horse was adamant that he was going there and rather than taking him off his stride, I just let him drift a little bit. He was always going to win and I was always clear of the second horse.  

“It’s nice to come here on a big day and get a prize. They are lovely owners and have been loyal to me.”

 

3.10pm Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1) 1m 4f 6y

Won by CRACKSMAN (owner Anthony Oppenheimer), trained by John Gosden, ridden by Frankie Dettori, at odds of 2/7 Fav.

The red-hot favourite Cracksman, ridden by Frankie Dettori, left it late but eventually got on top in an eventful running of the Group One Investec Coronation Cup.

The eventual runner-up Salouen (33/1) was given a peach of a ride by jockey Silvestre De Sousa and almost made every yard of the running but was denied by a head, with the 2/7 favourite getting up in the shadows of the post.

It was a third Group One for the four-year-old son of Frankel, who is trained by John Gosden.

“I was pleased with the way he finished,” said the trainer.

“He’s got a lot of guts and he’s got a lot of class. I could see from a long way out that Frankie’s elbows were just moving a little and, coming down Tattenham Corner, he wasn’t comfortable.

“However, when he finally met the level ground, he just flew. They were strung out weren’t they? This is testing ground. They were well strung out though and they are all decent mile and a half horses.

“I don’t know why but he wasn’t comfortable during the race – it certainly wasn’t the horse we know. However, he showed guts to get up and win and that’s what I’m pleased about.

“It was a brilliant ride from Silvestre (De Sousa on runner-up Salouen) as it’s very difficult to come from behind on this ground – especially if you’re not enjoying running downhill.

“I’m pleased he showed so much courage though – it’s a good test for a horse. He didn’t really take off until he met the rising ground.

“I only really enjoyed the last 50 yards of that race – but Frankie didn’t panic. It was a lot more exciting than people thought it would be though with a 1/3 shot as favourite!”

Owner Anthony Oppenheimer was a relieved man after the race: “It was quite a surprise. The other horse kept going and that was as close as I like it!

“Cracksman is fantastic. He is so well-bred and a bit similar to Golden Horn [Oppenheimer’s Investec Derby winner in 2015] in many ways. He loves racing, but we knew he doesn’t like Epsom. The first time he ran at Epsom over a mile and a quarter, he struggled a bit, and it was the same in the Derby. He definitely fell down the hill. And it was the same again today.

“This is the last time we will be running him on a severe downhill.” 

Dettori has now won five Investec Coronation Cups – Swain in 1997, Singspiel in 1997, Daylami in 1999, Mutafaweq in 2001 and now Cracksman.

The jockey said: “It was a decent pace. Cracksman was a bit sleepy today, but he does not enjoy galloping downhill and when I wanted to close the gap, I couldn’t. He felt lethargic, like he did in the Derby last year.

“Silvestre [de Sousa, Salouen’s jockey] got five lengths on me and, God, he made it hard work for me but once we flattened out, the turbo kicked in. Then he started to motor and I thought I might still run out of time, but we got there. I didn’t want to win like that, but, a bit like Man United, we find a way to win, and we did.

“You did not see the best of Cracksman today. He was never happy on the track – he is so big – and we know he is a better horse than he showed today. His class pulled him through because any other horse would have downed tools and finished second.

“It was a massive effort to make that ground up. The damage was down round Tattenham Corner because I couldn’t really lay up.

“It wasn’t a Champion Stakes or a Great Voltigeur performance, but it’s three times we’ve taken here and he’s run a very similar race each time – lethargic, not responsive round Tattenham Corner and in the straight. It was only in the last 100 yards that he made the two lengths up.

“I am happy that I’ve won, but I wanted to show the world a good display. Now that we’ve got this one out of the way, I think a track where he meets the ground is more for him, like Ascot in the Champion Stakes. We got this job done but by the skin of my teeth.”

 

3.45pm Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap 1m 2f 17y

Won by AJMAN KING (owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum), trained by Roger Varian, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, at odds of 5/4 Fav.

The Roger Varian-trained Ajman King (5/4 favourite) justified the hype by registering his third victory at Epsom Downs in the £60,000 Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap.

Ridden by Andrea Atzeni and trained by Roger Varian, the four-year-old son of Lope De Vega met trouble in running in the home straight, but quickened up smartly to score by two and three-quarter lengths in the 10-furlong contest.

Atzeni said: “Ajman King travelled well and whilst it was a rough race, I had plenty of horse underneath me and he ran on really well.

“He met some trouble in running but he kept on nicely when we moved towards the stands’ side rail and he found another gear.”

“It’s never easy watching when you have a short-priced favourite in a handicap,” said the trainer, Roger Varian.

“I’ve been nervous watching the racing all day. It’s tacky ground, they’re coming top-side and you need luck in running.

“From a high draw, they all come up and almost pin you on that stands’ side rail. I liked how he did it in the end – he made me go a bit greyer though!”

 

4.30pm Investec Oaks (Group 1) 1m 4f 6y

Won by FOREVER TOGETHER (owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier), trained by Aidan O’Brien IRE, ridden by Donnacha O’Brien, at odds of  7/1.

Click on image above for larger images and slide show.

Forever Together’s superb victory in the Investec Oaks was a seventh in the fillies’ mile and a half Classic for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

The result was a red letter day for the O’Brien family as Aidan’s son, Donnacha, was on board the three-year-old filly in the premier fillies’ Classic and the pair galloped away on the stands’ side rail to record a four-and-a-half-length victory from the 5/2 favourite, Wild Illusion.

The 19-year-old was celebrating his second British Classic success, following his victory on Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, and was visibly delighted following the race.

“Forever Together was very impressive,” said the jockey.

“I got a beautiful trip through the race following Ryan [on board stablemate Magic Wand]. He edged over and kept me company over to rail. It played out perfectly and the rail seems to be the place to be. She is very genuine and galloped out to the line really well. She is a proper staying filly.

“I thought a week or two ago that she had a really good chance, then the rain came and I was a bit worried. She seemed to handle it really well, but I was not expecting her to do that.

“When you are riding one of his [father Aidan’s horses], you have a chance. It does not matter what it is. He is an absolute genius and is able to do things with these horses that I don’t understand. He just tweaks little things and brings out massive improvement. I don’t know how he does it but am trying to learn as much as I can.

“It’s fantastic. She’s a real tough filly and relaxes beautifully in her races. I got a nice run down the rail and she stayed on really strongly. I knew my filly would stay well and knew if I had a chance two out that I’d be bang there as she’d hit the line well.

“I saw Magic Wand at the two pole but, when she dropped away, I knew it was my race. You then just hope there’s nothing else coming up and it’s a relief when you hit the line.”

Aidan O’Brien first won the £500,000 Group One with Shahtoush in 1998. Since then, Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015) and Minding (2016) have been added to the roll of honour.

Forever Together is a daughter of Galileo out of the Theatrical mare Green Room, also dam of Group One winner Lord Shanakill. She is the first maiden to win the Investec Oaks since Sun Princess in 1983.

O’Brien said: “This is incredible. I am so delighted for everyone; Padraig who looks after her, Emmet who rides her, then John [Magnier], Michael [Tabor], Derrick [Smith], Sue, Gay and Doreen. It is brilliant for everyone.

“Forever Together is a staying filly who gets the trip very well and is obviously by Galileo, which is a massive advantage.

“Donnacha gave her an unbelievable ride. I am over the moon.

“It went according enough to plan. We weren’t sure about the ground – who would act on it and who wouldn’t. Donnacha rides her in all her work and he was very happy with her after Chester [she finished second in the Cheshire Oaks]. She was still a maiden until today, but the ground was so bad [in Ireland this spring] we couldn’t stand it, so we skipped the maidens and she ran a lovely race at Chester.

“We’re delighted and so grateful to a lot of people that we are in this position and we don’t take that for granted for one minute. Donnacha is a very good rider – he’s very cool and confident. He’s been watching races since the day his eyes opened so tactically he’s very aware, and very confident to make his own decisions and stand by them.”

 

5.15pm Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed Race) 7f 3y

Won by LAKE VOLTA (owner Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum), trained by Mark Johnston, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, at odds of 3/1.

Lake Volta was a comfortable winner of the £50,000 Listed Investec Surrey Stakes over seven furlongs at odds of 3/1. The Ravens Pass three-year-old, trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, beat Aurum by four and a half lengths.

Johnston said: “It all worked out – I’d said to the jockeys, find that rail, and they were there one behind the other [Johnston also had the PJ McDonald-ridden Rufus King, who finished third, in the race] and the one in front [Lake Volta] couldn’t be passed. Silvestre had a perfect position from the start. Anything that wanted a crack at him, including Rufus King, had to go over on to the perhaps slightly stickier ground.

“Silvestre does have an incredible affinity with Epsom. When trying to select our jockey for the Derby [Johnston runs Dee Ex Bee in tomorrow’s Investec Derby] I went through the stats, and his strike-rate here is phenomenal. He works very hard and we’ve seen a couple of examples today of him in his absolute element, head down. There’s nobody stronger.”

 

5.50pm Investec Zebra Handicap 7f 3y

Won by SHARED EQUITY (owners Caron & Paul Chapman), trained by Jedd O’Keeffe, ridden by Jack Garritty, at odds of 9/1.

Shared Equity’s success in the seven-furlong £50,000 Investec Zebra Handicap, the final race of Investec Ladies’ Day, was a first at Epsom Downs for trainer Jedd O’Keeffe.

Ridden by Jack Garritty, the 9/1 chance, a seven-year-old by Elnadim, came home just a neck in front of Swift Approval and Oisin Murphy.

Yorkshire-based O’Keeffe said: “The jockey rode a super race. He wanted to be brave on him, he wanted to bag the near-side rail, and everything went to plan. First class.

“Shared Equity has pace – he would still probably be effective over six furlongs on proper slow ground, but he clearly stays this very nicely now.”  

Asked what it was like to win a race on Investec Oaks day, he replied: “Unbelievable! I’ve had a few near misses here before, but to get a winner here is very special. It’s taken a long time! It’s such a good theatre here; it’s absolutely amazing.”

Pictured above: Top trainer Aidan O’Brien is approached by the traditional Derby Festival travellers – lucky heather, was this the secret of today’s success?!

INVESTEC OAKS FACTS for the 2018 race

Youngest filly: Bye Bye Baby, foaled 5th April 2015.

Oldest filly: Give And Take, foaled 4th February 2015.

 

Youngest jockey: Donnacha O’Brien, 19, Forever Together.

Oldest jockey: Seamie Heffernan, 45, I Can Fly.

Winning-most jockey: Ryan Moore, two wins (Snow Fairy 2010, Minding 2016).

First Investec Oaks ride: Padraig Beggy, Flattering (Beggy had his first ride in a Classic at Epsom last year aboard Investec Derby winner Wings Of Eagles), Wayne Lordan, Bye Bye Baby.

 

Winning-most trainer: Aidan O’Brien with six winners from 54 runners (Shahtoush 1998, Imagine 2001, Alexandrova 2006, Was 2012, Qualify 2015, Minding 2016). O’Brien runs five in the premier fillies’ Classic this year.

William Haggas (Give And Take) is the only other trainer in the race to have a previous winner, Dancing Rain 2011.

Trainer with the fewest Investec Oaks runs: Clive Cox, one runner (Miracle Seeker, 11th in 2008).

Oldest trainer: William Haggas 57 (Give And Take).

Youngest trainer: Charlie Appleby 42 (Wild Illusion).

 

Owners debuting: Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah (Ejtyah), Nicholas Jones (Give And Take), Dr Bridget Drew and David Keast (Perfect Clarity).

Winning-most owner: Coolmore partnersips, five wins (Shahtoush 1998, Imagine 2001, Alexandrova 2006, Was 2012, Minding 2016).

 

Most represented sire: Galileo – four runners Bye Bye Baby, Flattering, Forever Together, Magic Wand. Galileo is represented by two grandsons Ejtyah (Frankel) and Perfect Clarity (Nathaniel), taking his representation to six from nine runners.

All bar one runner (Wild Illusion, Dubawi x Rumh (Monsun)) has Sadlers Wells in the first three generations.

 

The 2018 Investec Derby Festival – Winners

Investec Ladies Day – Friday 1st June 2018.

 

2pm Investec Woodcote EBF Race 6f 3y

Won by COSMIC LAW (owner John Dance), trained by Richard Fahey, ridden by PJ McDonald, at odds of 10/1.

Cosmic Law, a 10/1 shot, ran his rivals ragged when producing a scintillating display in the Investec Woodcote Conditions Race.

Ridden by PJ McDonald, the No Nay Never two-year-old colt was highly impressive, quickening away in the style of a very good horse to record a devastating six-length victory from the 12/1 runner-up Usain Boat, in a time of 1 minute 11.95 seconds.

Trainer Richard Fahey said: “I was expecting him to run well. But it’s amazing – you sit in the car on the way here, reading the paper, and you see he is the outsider. You think I’m getting this very wrong here – or someone is, anyway. It’s just nice to see him win. He’s a grand horse and a horse we like. He’s quite a laidback character and is getting better with racing, but to win by six lengths – I didn’t see that.

 “I am delighted for [owner] John Dance, who is a big supporter of the northern trainers. […] He invests a lot of money and it’s great that he is getting the reward.”

 

2.35pm Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap 1m 113y

Won by MEDBURN DREAM (owner Eddie Evans), trained by Peter Hedger, ridden by Franny Norton, at odds of 5/1.

The Peter Hedger-trained Medburn Dream survived a stewards’ enquiry to land the £50,000 Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap at Epsom Downs under Franny Norton.

Always prominent, the 5/1 shot hung towards the stands’ side rail in the home straight, coming across David O’Meara’s Mythical Madness (11/2).

However, Medburn Dream kept on gamely in the closing stages to score by a length and a quarter in the extended mile contest.

Owner, 78-year-old Peter Hedger, started out as a racehorse transporter before taking out a training licence in 1989. He has saddled four winners at Epsom from seven runners in the last five years. Medburn Dream is unbeaten in two starts for Hedger having scored at Windsor on his debut for the yard earlier this year.

Hedger said: “I said to a lot of people that I really fancied this horse today and I didn’t want to have egg on my face.

“Good ground or softer is his preferred ground and he is as genuine as they come.”   

Norton said: “I was fairly confident that I would keep the race – I’m just a bit disappointed that I’ve got a three-day ban for it. My horse does hang right and I took Mythical Madness slightly off his line, but my horse was adamant that he was going there and rather than taking him off his stride, I just let him drift a little bit. He was always going to win and I was always clear of the second horse.  

“It’s nice to come here on a big day and get a prize. They are lovely owners and have been loyal to me.”

 

3.10pm Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1) 1m 4f 6y

Won by CRACKSMAN (owner Anthony Oppenheimer), trained by John Gosden, ridden by Frankie Dettori, at odds of 2/7 Fav.

The red-hot favourite Cracksman, ridden by Frankie Dettori, left it late but eventually got on top in an eventful running of the Group One Investec Coronation Cup.

The eventual runner-up Salouen (33/1) was given a peach of a ride by jockey Silvestre De Sousa and almost made every yard of the running but was denied by a head, with the 2/7 favourite getting up in the shadows of the post.

It was a third Group One for the four-year-old son of Frankel, who is trained by John Gosden.

“I was pleased with the way he finished,” said the trainer.

“He’s got a lot of guts and he’s got a lot of class. I could see from a long way out that Frankie’s elbows were just moving a little and, coming down Tattenham Corner, he wasn’t comfortable.

“However, when he finally met the level ground, he just flew. They were strung out weren’t they? This is testing ground. They were well strung out though and they are all decent mile and a half horses.

“I don’t know why but he wasn’t comfortable during the race – it certainly wasn’t the horse we know. However, he showed guts to get up and win and that’s what I’m pleased about.

“It was a brilliant ride from Silvestre (De Sousa on runner-up Salouen) as it’s very difficult to come from behind on this ground – especially if you’re not enjoying running downhill.

“I’m pleased he showed so much courage though – it’s a good test for a horse. He didn’t really take off until he met the rising ground.

“I only really enjoyed the last 50 yards of that race – but Frankie didn’t panic. It was a lot more exciting than people thought it would be though with a 1/3 shot as favourite!”

Owner Anthony Oppenheimer was a relieved man after the race: “It was quite a surprise. The other horse kept going and that was as close as I like it!

“Cracksman is fantastic. He is so well-bred and a bit similar to Golden Horn [Oppenheimer’s Investec Derby winner in 2015] in many ways. He loves racing, but we knew he doesn’t like Epsom. The first time he ran at Epsom over a mile and a quarter, he struggled a bit, and it was the same in the Derby. He definitely fell down the hill. And it was the same again today.

“This is the last time we will be running him on a severe downhill.” 

Dettori has now won five Investec Coronation Cups – Swain in 1997, Singspiel in 1997, Daylami in 1999, Mutafaweq in 2001 and now Cracksman.

The jockey said: “It was a decent pace. Cracksman was a bit sleepy today, but he does not enjoy galloping downhill and when I wanted to close the gap, I couldn’t. He felt lethargic, like he did in the Derby last year.

“Silvestre [de Sousa, Salouen’s jockey] got five lengths on me and, God, he made it hard work for me but once we flattened out, the turbo kicked in. Then he started to motor and I thought I might still run out of time, but we got there. I didn’t want to win like that, but, a bit like Man United, we find a way to win, and we did.

“You did not see the best of Cracksman today. He was never happy on the track – he is so big – and we know he is a better horse than he showed today. His class pulled him through because any other horse would have downed tools and finished second.

“It was a massive effort to make that ground up. The damage was down round Tattenham Corner because I couldn’t really lay up.

“It wasn’t a Champion Stakes or a Great Voltigeur performance, but it’s three times we’ve taken here and he’s run a very similar race each time – lethargic, not responsive round Tattenham Corner and in the straight. It was only in the last 100 yards that he made the two lengths up.

“I am happy that I’ve won, but I wanted to show the world a good display. Now that we’ve got this one out of the way, I think a track where he meets the ground is more for him, like Ascot in the Champion Stakes. We got this job done but by the skin of my teeth.”

 

3.45pm Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap 1m 2f 17y

Won by AJMAN KING (owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum), trained by Roger Varian, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, at odds of 5/4 Fav

The Roger Varian-trained Ajman King (5/4 favourite) justified the hype by registering his third victory at Epsom Downs in the £60,000 Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap.

Ridden by Andrea Atzeni and trained by Roger Varian, the four-year-old son of Lope De Vega met trouble in running in the home straight, but quickened up smartly to score by two and three-quarter lengths in the 10-furlong contest.

Atzeni said: “Ajman King travelled well and whilst it was a rough race, I had plenty of horse underneath me and he ran on really well.

“He met some trouble in running but he kept on nicely when we moved towards the stands’ side rail and he found another gear.”

“It’s never easy watching when you have a short-priced favourite in a handicap,” said the trainer, Roger Varian.

“I’ve been nervous watching the racing all day. It’s tacky ground, they’re coming top-side and you need luck in running.

“From a high draw, they all come up and almost pin you on that stands’ side rail. I liked how he did it in the end – he made me go a bit greyer though!”

 

4.30pm Investec Oaks (Group 1) 1m 4f 6y

Won by FOREVER TOGETHER (owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier), trained by Aidan O’Brien IRE, ridden by Donnacha O’Brien, at odds of  7/1.

Forever Together’s superb victory in the Investec Oaks was a seventh in the fillies’ mile and a half Classic for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

The result was a red letter day for the O’Brien family as Aidan’s son, Donnacha, was on board the three-year-old filly in the premier fillies’ Classic and the pair galloped away on the stands’ side rail to record a four-and-a-half-length victory from the 5/2 favourite, Wild Illusion.

The 19-year-old was celebrating his second British Classic success, following his victory on Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, and was visibly delighted following the race.

“Forever Together was very impressive,” said the jockey.

“I got a beautiful trip through the race following Ryan [on board stablemate Magic Wand]. He edged over and kept me company over to rail. It played out perfectly and the rail seems to be the place to be. She is very genuine and galloped out to the line really well. She is a proper staying filly.

“I thought a week or two ago that she had a really good chance, then the rain came and I was a bit worried. She seemed to handle it really well, but I was not expecting her to do that.

“When you are riding one of his [father Aidan’s horses], you have a chance. It does not matter what it is. He is an absolute genius and is able to do things with these horses that I don’t understand. He just tweaks little things and brings out massive improvement. I don’t know how he does it but am trying to learn as much as I can.

“It’s fantastic. She’s a real tough filly and relaxes beautifully in her races. I got a nice run down the rail and she stayed on really strongly. I knew my filly would stay well and knew if I had a chance two out that I’d be bang there as she’d hit the line well.

“I saw Magic Wand at the two pole but, when she dropped away, I knew it was my race. You then just hope there’s nothing else coming up and it’s a relief when you hit the line.”

Aidan O’Brien first won the £500,000 Group One with Shahtoush in 1998. Since then, Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015) and Minding (2016) have been added to the roll of honour.

Forever Together is a daughter of Galileo out of the Theatrical mare Green Room, also dam of Group One winner Lord Shanakill. She is the first maiden to win the Investec Oaks since Sun Princess in 1983.

O’Brien said: “This is incredible. I am so delighted for everyone; Padraig who looks after her, Emmet who rides her, then John [Magnier], Michael [Tabor], Derrick [Smith], Sue, Gay and Doreen. It is brilliant for everyone.

“Forever Together is a staying filly who gets the trip very well and is obviously by Galileo, which is a massive advantage.

“Donnacha gave her an unbelievable ride. I am over the moon.

“It went according enough to plan. We weren’t sure about the ground – who would act on it and who wouldn’t. Donnacha rides her in all her work and he was very happy with her after Chester [she finished second in the Cheshire Oaks]. She was still a maiden until today, but the ground was so bad [in Ireland this spring] we couldn’t stand it, so we skipped the maidens and she ran a lovely race at Chester.

“We’re delighted and so grateful to a lot of people that we are in this position and we don’t take that for granted for one minute. Donnacha is a very good rider – he’s very cool and confident. He’s been watching races since the day his eyes opened so tactically he’s very aware, and very confident to make his own decisions and stand by them.”

 

5.15pm Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed Race) 7f 3y

Won by LAKE VOLTA (owner Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum), trained by Mark Johnston, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, at odds of 3/1.

Lake Volta was a comfortable winner of the £50,000 Listed Investec Surrey Stakes over seven furlongs at odds of 3/1. The Ravens Pass three-year-old, trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, beat Aurum by four and a half lengths.

Johnston said: “It all worked out – I’d said to the jockeys, find that rail, and they were there one behind the other [Johnston also had the PJ McDonald-ridden Rufus King, who finished third, in the race] and the one in front [Lake Volta] couldn’t be passed. Silvestre had a perfect position from the start. Anything that wanted a crack at him, including Rufus King, had to go over on to the perhaps slightly stickier ground.

“Silvestre does have an incredible affinity with Epsom. When trying to select our jockey for the Derby [Johnston runs Dee Ex Bee in tomorrow’s Investec Derby] I went through the stats, and his strike-rate here is phenomenal. He works very hard and we’ve seen a couple of examples today of him in his absolute element, head down. There’s nobody stronger.”

 

5.50pm Investec Zebra Handicap 7f 3y

Won by SHARED EQUITY (owners Caron & Paul Chapman), trained by Jedd O’Keeffe, ridden by Jack Garritty, at odds of 9/1.

Shared Equity’s success in the seven-furlong £50,000 Investec Zebra Handicap, the final race of Investec Ladies’ Day, was a first at Epsom Downs for trainer Jedd O’Keeffe.

Ridden by Jack Garritty, the 9/1 chance, a seven-year-old by Elnadim, came home just a neck in front of Swift Approval and Oisin Murphy.

Yorkshire-based O’Keeffe said: “The jockey rode a super race. He wanted to be brave on him, he wanted to bag the near-side rail, and everything went to plan. First class.

“Shared Equity has pace – he would still probably be effective over six furlongs on proper slow ground, but he clearly stays this very nicely now.”  

Asked what it was like to win a race on Investec Oaks day, he replied: “Unbelievable! I’ve had a few near misses here before, but to get a winner here is very special. It’s taken a long time! It’s such a good theatre here; it’s absolutely amazing.”