Aidan O’Brien saddled his eighth Gr1 Investec Oaks winner as Love came home the hugely impressive nine-length winner of the 2020 running of the fillies’ mile and a half Classic at Epsom on Saturday.
O’Brien said: “We are delighted, obviously.Before the Guineas we were aware that it was a little bit short for her – we always thought she would get a mile and a quarter well, and obviously she is by Galileo and has a lovely, long, low action.
“As you see she is very genuine, sticks her head out and really tries very hard, so we were always hoping that the extra distance was going to improve her, and we were absolutely delighted with the result.
Ryan [Moore] gave her a lovely ride. She was working incredibly well. Wayne rides her in all her work, Stephen rides her out and Jamie is in charge of her, Grace led her up – they are all delighted.
“Her last few canters through the week were incredible, really, so although we obviously didn’t know what was going to happen, we were aware that she was incredibly well.
“We are in a very privileged position to have such horses to train and an incredible group of people, both here and in Coolmore, and everybody involved.
“The lads do so much, day in day out and obviously they have the mares and the stallion – the bloodlines – and the place and the facilities. It is an incredible place to be involved with.
“Love is very special. It is very hard to say you would ever have a better filly than her; we saw what she did in the Guineas. I don’t know how far she won that by, three or four lengths, and she doubled it today, and it is only her second run of the year.
“We will wait and see what is next and the lads will decide that, but obviously the Irish Oaks is a possibility. We will see how she is over the next few days before we make any decisions, but that was always going to be a possibility.
“You would have to think about the Arc in the autumn. We know what three-year-old fillies can do in the Arc. We would definitely have to think about it. I guess it will all depend on how she comes out of today and whether she has a midsummer break now or gets in another run and has a break after that, but the Arc has to be a definite possibility.
“The St Leger comes three weeks or a month before the Arc, so would it be too tough for a filly to do that and then go on to the Arc? I don’t know, but I suppose we will see how she trains and what the lads want to do.”
The Seamie Heffernan-ridden Ennistymon was nine lengths behind her stable companion Love in the Investec Oaks.
O’Brien said of her performance: “Ennistymon ran a very good race. The Ascot form stood up very well. We felt after Ascot [when second to Frankly Darling] that we would be happy to take the winner on again.
“It worked out how we thought it might. She was back a bit at Ascot and Frankly Darling got an easier time out in front and that changed today.
“We were delighted with her performance today and the quick pace suited. She is a very nice filly for Mrs Stockwell.”
Paul Smith, son of Derrick Smith who owns Love along with Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor, said: “Crikey, that was impressive. I am so, so, pleased for everyone at home and delighted for Mrs (Evie) Stockwell as her filly came second as well. I am really, really happy.
“Yes, we were just a little bit worried that it might have been a little bit too tight for her in the Guineas, but Ryan gave her a beautiful ride that day. She seemed to grow a leg when she went the extra half mile today.
“Galileo [sire of Love] is phenomenal. We are so lucky to have him, so blessed every year he turns out these champions. He is an honour to be involved with.”