Savethelastdance Overcomes 999-1 In Running Odds

Nerves early in straight - but no stress as class prevails

Savethelastdance claimed victory from the jaws of defeat in the Gr1 Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday.

A 22-length winner of the Cheshire Oaks in May, Aidan O’Brien’s filly subsequently filled the runner-up spot behind Soul Sister in the Oaks at Epsom and was a warm order to go one better on home soil.

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore enjoy the post-race relief! (Pic-Racing TV)

But supporters of the 10-11 favourite would have been seriously worried early in the home straight, with Moore already hard at work while British raider Bluestocking breezed into contention.

The latter looked sure to secure top honours after eventually mastering the pacesetting 80-1 outsider Library, but Savethelastdance kept responding to Moore’s urgings and flashed home to prevail by half a length and provide her trainer with a seventh victory in the Irish Classic.

On Betfair, £12.54 was matched on Savethelastdance at the ceiling price of 999/1 in-running.

“It’s a long time since she ran, she had a break after Epsom and obviously we knew this was her first run back for an autumn campaign,” said O’Brien.

“She’s a big relaxed mare. Obviously the ground was way different than what she ran on the last time.

“Chris Hayes’ filly (Azazat) just came around her when she was just starting to get going and she might have gotten a little bit intimidated by it.

“The lads were delighted with her at home, she was thriving and doing great. Ryan gave her a brilliant ride, he re-motivated her. When she was in a little bit of trouble he kept her coming forward without panicking and got her out, then he asked her to come again.

The trainer spoke to Gary O’Brien about Savethelastdance plus gave his thoughts on Library, Warm Heart, Emily Dickinson, Kyprios and Henry Longfellow.

“It’s a very difficult thing to motivate a horse on that type of ground but she did answer for him. He was brilliant on her.”

Considering future plans, the trainer added: “Obviously we know she stays very well. I’d say she’s going to sharpen up a good bit from today.

“You can bounce her out as forward as you want and I’d say she will find plenty and save plenty.

“She’s a massive big masculine filly, she’s unusual as she’s a filly but she has a pair of horns on her head which is very unusual for a filly. She has a big, strong backside on her.

“It’s very possible (she will stay in training next year), the lads have been doing that if everything is well over the last few years. If they decided that we’d be delighted.

“We’re treating this as her first run of an autumn campaign.”

Enjoy the replay:

A record seventh Juddmonte Farms Irish Oaks for Aidan O’Brien – here is the honour roll:

  • Alexandrova (2006)
  • Peeping Fawn (2007)
  • Moonstone (2008)
  • Bracelet (2014)
  • Seventh Heaven (2016)
  • Snowfall (2021)
  • Savethelastdance (2023)

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