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Was is the 2012 Investec Oaks heroine

1 Jun 2012

Aidan O'Brien made it three-out-of-three in British Classics this season when Was took the Investec Oaks, beating Shirocco Star by a neck with the luckless The Fugue half a length back in third.

Was returns in triumph after her Investec Oaks victory, led in by her part-owner, Derrick Smith, and with Seamie Heffernan in the saddle. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Another Classic, another victory for the remarkable Aidan O’Brien as he saddled Was to win the Investec Oaks at Epsom, race six in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

He has now won three-out-of-three British Classics in 2012 after taking the QIPCO 2000 Guineas with Camelot and the QIPCO 1000 Guineas with Homecoming Queen.

Tomorrow he saddles the red-hot Investec Derby favourite, Camelot. If he wins, only the Ladbrokes St Leger will stand in the way of an O’Brien Classic clean sweep.

Was’s victory also saw O’Brien build up a formidable lead in the QIPCO British Champions Series trainers’ table.

The master of Ballydoyle has 75 points, 55 clear of his nearest pursuers (there is 20 points for a winner, 10 for second and 5 for third place).

Always prominent, Was came up the inside rail to lead over two furlongs from home and bravely repelled the challenges from Shirocco Star and The Fugue to win by a neck and half a length.

Shirocco Star, who get very warm before the race, ran a blinder and had every chance, but The Fugue, who started favourite at 11-4, has to be considered unlucky.

She was badly hampered and almost fell early in the race, costing her several lengths, yet she was beaten by less than a length at the line.

Vow ran well to finish fourth after having every chance, while Maybe, the most fancied of the O’Brien-trained quintet that went to post (Kissed was a non-runner because of the fast ground), finished fifth after seemingly finding the mile and a half trip too far.

O’Brien said of the winner: "Seamus gave her a lovely ride, she came on lovely from her first run so we were delighted.

"She’s a very good looking filly with a great pedigree. He’s a great fellow, Seamus, a world-class jockey. He knows all these horses inside out and and nobody deserves it more."

O’Brien said of Maybe: "She ran well, she was coming there and coming there but a mile and a quarter might be as far as she wants to go."

Heffernan said: "I’ve been very lucky in these colours and I have the owners to thank for trusting me.

"I was on the bridle and had plenty of petrol. When you have plenty of petrol you can go where you like."