Love wins 1,000 Guineas and is favourite for Epsom Oaks

Love conquers all in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket with dominant performance and becomes 7-4 favourite for next month’s Epsom Oaks

  • Love was the winner in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday
  • Ridden by Ryan Moore, Love finished first by four and a quarter lengths 
  • Love, who beat Cloak of Spirits, is now the favourite for the Investec Oaks 

Love conquered the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and is now 7-4 favourite for the Investec Oaks after pulling a whopping four and a quarter lengths clear of runner-up Cloak of Spirits.

Back in third, unable to live with 4-1 shot Love in the final furlong and beaten an additional head was 11-4 favourite Quadrilateral.

The bad news for those thinking of lining up against the daughter of Galileo at Epsom is that trainer Aidan O’Brien thinks Love will take the step up to a mile and a half in her smooth stride.

Love ridden by Ryan Moore won the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket by four and a quarter lengths

With travel quarantine restrictions in place for people who enter Ireland from Britain, O’Brien has sent a team of grooms to Britain to look after his horses which ran at the Qipco Guineas Festival and then stay here to perform the same task for his Royal Ascot squad.

O’Brien was watching on television from his Ballydoyle base in County Tipperary and it must have made for pleasant Sunday afternoon viewing as jockey Ryan Moore delivered the trainer a fourth 1,000 Guineas win in the last five years and sixth in all.

O’Brien is often mob-handed in Classics but significantly he relied on only Love, winner of the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes last year, who was having the eighth race of her life.

Love is favourite for the Investec Oaks and trainer Aidan O’Brien is optimistic about success

O’Brien, who is looking to run his 2,000 Guineas runner-up Wichita in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, said: ‘We always thought Love would get much further than a mile and that we would start into the 1,000 Guineas and go on to the Oaks.

‘Ryan gave her a lovely ride and got her in a lovely rhythm. She is very genuine and really ran to the line. It’s been a little bit tricky (in the build-up) but everyone has been very focussed.’

Love had finished third to Quadrilateral in last season’s Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket but Moore, who was riding his fourth 1,000 Guineas winner, believed he could turn around the form.

He said: ‘I thought she would win the Fillies’ Mile but I think the ground was too slow and blunted her.’

O’Brien is confident that Love will take the step up to a mile and a half in her smooth stride

It was a big run from Richard Hannon-trained 12-1 runner-up Cloak of Spirits, who tried to make all from her rail-side draw until headed a furlong out. She could head to Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes.

Roger Charlton-trained Quadrilateral over-raced early on just off the pace but stayed on resolutely under Jason Watson to reinforce the pre-race suspicion that the daughter of Frankel will be better at longer distances.

Mark Johnston-trained Raffle Prize fluffed the start but was still a disappointment being beaten over 32 lengths.

While Millisle never looked like she would give champion jockey Oisin Murphy a second Classic win of the weekend after his 2,000 Guineas success on Kameko, with a never-dangerous seventh.

But Murphy was still among the Newmarket winners with a treble courtesy of Bell Rock, Dashing Willoughby and Run Wild. The latter won the Pretty Polly Stakes but will not be heading to the Oaks according to trainer John Gosden.

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