|Thursday 20th August 2020|
As the Flat Season Continues, Will Love Conquer All?
Since horse racing was given the green light to resume, following its corona-enforced hiatus, there’s been one trainer’s name on everybody’s lips – Aidan O’Brien. The Irishman, who has been named British flat racing Champion Trainer six times since the turn of the century, has undoubtedly continued where he left off – and looks set to have another very good season.
He’s already had success in the 1,000 Guineas and both British Classics on Derby Day at Epsom, The Oaks and Derby. Those that are partial to a flutter will often see horses from his yard cemented as the favourites in horse racing online betting odds – and none more so, than Love.
Two starts, two wins – that’s how Love has fared since the flat season got back underway. Her first came in the British Classic, the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. With regular jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle, Love overcame the favourite Quadrilateral and finished four and a quarter-lengths ahead of Cloak of Spirits, who had been leading, to secure a memorable victory. It was a fourth victory in five years in the Classic for O’Brien, and a fourth win for Moore, who said after the race: "She's a very uncomplicated filly and we've always thought a lot of her. She was in control of the race from a long way out."
A more dominant victory followed in the Oaks, just last month – this time, as the 11/10 favourite. Her biggest threat was Frankly Darling, with legendary jockey Frankie Dettori in the saddle. However, it was stablemate Ennistymon that defied the odds and finished second – with Love not only recording a nine-length victory, but also the best winning time in Oaks’ history. A winning time of two minutes, 34:06 seconds beat the previous record set by Enable in 2017. The victorious jockey, Moore, told ITV Racing: “It is never ideal when a race opens up that with two unfancied horses out in front. But this filly is special, she was very impressive. She is up there with the best I have ridden."
Next up for Love is the Yorkshire Oaks, held on Day 2 (also known as Ladies’ Day) of York’s Ebor Festival. O’Brien has already revealed that his prized filly will skip the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, and instead, goes straight in to being the favourite for the race on August 20th. The three-year-old will also look to complete The Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks double, a feat last managed in 2017 by the aforementioned Enable.
O’Brien explained his plans: “Love doesn’t run this weekend. She is perfect.
“What we are thinking at the moment is that she is probably going to go straight to York for the Yorkshire Oaks, and then on to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after that.”
The filly is also the early favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Troimphe on October 4th at Longchamp, Paris – and will look to deny her rival a hat-trick of Arc titles. Enable was unable to make a trio of wins last year, with Waldgeist stealing the honours in Europe’s most prestigious flat race – but will no doubt look to regain her title. Going straight to Paris after the Oaks means that O’Brien will be denied the opportunity to secure the Triple Crown – opting for European shores rather than the racecourse at Doncaster – missing out on the St. Leger. But there’s no doubt, it could be an unforgettable season for Love.