Chester May Festival: Thoughts Of June sets up Epsom bid with Cheshire Oaks win as Ryan Moore lands hat-trick | Race News


Thoughts Of June dominated from the front to hand coach Aidan O’Brien a seventh win at the Weatherbys Bloodstock Pro Cheshire Oaks.

Winless in the previous three outings, the Galileo daughter was last seen finishing second to Above The Curve in a Leopardstown maiden four weeks ago.

Above The Curve, coached by Joseph O’Brien, were 5/4 favorites to cement their status as the main contender for the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom, while Thoughts Of June were a 7/1 shot under Ryan Moore.

Seemingly keen to ensure the mile-and-a-half contest was a stern test of endurance, Moore pulled her mount away from the starting stalls to take the lead and she stayed there throughout.

After being ridden with more restraint by Shane Crosse, Above The Curve moved in style in the wake of Thoughts Of June around the home bend and looked sure to take her down the short straight.

But the market leader hung on slightly under the pressure and failed to pick up as expected in the rain-softened ground, allowing the Ballydoyle runner to see her by a neck.

Sky Bet reduced Thoughts Of June’s Epsom Oaks odds to 12/1 from 66/1 while lowering Above The Curve to 12/1 from 10.

Picture:
Thoughts Of June leads the Cheshire Oaks pitch at Chester’s May Festival

Buick told Sky Sports Racing: “She’s a nice big filly and she had some good races as a two-year-old. I think the first two are two smart fillies and they were a far cry from the rest. .

“The ease of the pitch was probably to his advantage.”

The winner and runner-up both belong to the Coolmore triumvirate of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

Coolmore’s UK representative Kevin Buckley said of Thoughts Of June: “I think we have to think about Epsom. Aidan will be talking to the owners, who include our partners Moyglare Stud, but I think on this performance we would have to get to Epsom.

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Owner Alan Gray was left in tears after Ffion’s dramatic victory at a photo-finish in Chester on the first day of the May Festival, live on Sky Sports Racing

“Aidan always thought stepping it up on the trip would be to his liking, he thought she would be fine here in the corners and Ryan was very happy.

“We used her a lot last time at Leopardstown, so it was still planned to do that today, but I imagine she’s quite versatile.

“We’ll have to see what else happens in the trials. We were very happy with Tuesday in the Guineas and she seems to have done well. We’re looking forward to June.”

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Michael Owen has told Sky Sports Racing that expectations are “high” for his new partnership with coach Hugo Palmer after the pair combined for victory at the Chester May Festival with Ever Given.

O’Brien said: “We’ve always really liked her and I loved her run on the first day at Leopardstown behind Joseph’s filly. I thought she stepped up from that and she did. clearly done.

“She had a great race from Ryan and obviously they are two very good fillies, because Joseph also had a great race.

“We had thought of the Oaks for her and that was the reason to send her to Chester, to see if she would make it and that it would teach her a lot.

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to Ryan but she seems to handle the pitch well and seems versatile.”




Sky Sports

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