Impeccably bred Bracelet added another jewel to her resume when she held off a pair of rivals to win the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) at the Curragh on Saturday.
The field of fillies, a little more evenly matched after the announcement a few days before that Epsom Oaks hero Taghrooda would skip the race in favor of a showdown with the boys, broke cleanly. Volume, who delayed the race for nearly a half-hour due to a shoeing problem, set the early fractions, galloping strongly under Kevin Manning.
Prominent in the mix at the head of the stretch was Tarfasha, but it was Bracelet who took the lead late, turning back a second wind try from Volume and a challenge from the late-closing Tapestry to win. Colm O'Donoghue guided the winner home.
“It's great,” O'Donoghue said. “I'm very thankful to Mr Magnier, Mr Tabor, Mr Smith and Aidan for giving me the opportunity.”
Tapestry got up for second over Volume. Beyond Brilliance was fourth with Ana O'Brien, who became the first female jockey to ride in the Irish Oaks. The final time for the mile and a half was 2:33.68.
Favored Tarfasha finished fifth, followed by Maid Of The Glens, Lustrous, Marvellous, Ballybacka Queen, and Palace.
In her lone classic try, Bracelet finished 14th of 17 in the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket behind Miss France. She came out of that race to score in the Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) at the Royal Ascot meeting on June 19. This was the first Irish Oaks victory for the team of trainer Aidan O'Brien and the ownership group Coolmore since Moonstone won in 2008.
“She's a seriously well-bred filly,” said O'Brien. “I'm delighted for everybody involved with her and Colm gave her a marvellous ride – he's a world-class rider.
Luca Cumani, trainer of third-place finisher Volume, had this to say about the shoeing delay before the race:
“As far as I'm concerned it wasn't a controversy because it's never been one in England. As a policy, because horses can knock themselves behind, we put what we call trailers on their hind shoes which helps them keep their feet apart and therefore stops them knocking their hind legs. We've done this in England many times and around the world and it never entered our calculations that it may not be allowed here.
“Rules are rules and we took them off. I apologise for the delay, but we didn't know it would cause a problem. Those shoes have helped her in the past and we did what is best for the filly.”
Bred in Ireland by Roncon & Chelston, Bracelet is by the late stallion Montjeu and out of Cherry Hinton (Green Desert), a half-sister to champions and leading sires Galileo and Sea the Stars.
Watch the video of Bracelet's Irish Oaks win below, courtesy of the Racing Post YouTube channel:
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