Vodafone Oaks - 3rd June 2005

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Group 1, Class 1, £383,600, 1m 4f 10y, For 3yo fillies. Penalty values: 1st: £222,488; 2nd: £84,392; 3rd: £42,196; 4th: £19,180; 5th: £9,590; 6th: £5,754

1 ESWARAH (Hamdan Al Maktoum) Michael Jarvis 3- 9-00 Richard Hills [2] 11-4jt-fav
2 SOMETHING EXCITING (Setsquare Recruitment) David Elsworth 3- 9-00 Richard Quinn [4] 7-1
3 PICTAVIA (Maktoum Al Maktoum) Jim Bolger IRE 3- 9-00 Kevin Manning [9] 8-1
4 VIRGINIA WATERS (Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3- 9-00 Kieren Fallon [7] 11-4jt-fav
5 SILK AND SCARLET (Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3- 9-00 Mick Kinane [12]
6 MAGICAL ROMANCE (Con Wilson) Brian Meehan 3- 9-00 Michael Hills [11]
7 CASSYDORA (Hesmonds Stud) John Dunlop 3- 9-00 Seb Sanders [10]
8 DREAM TO DRESS (Moyglare Stud Farm) Dermot Weld IRE 3- 9-00 Pat Smullen [6]
9 MONA LISA (Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3- 9-00 Johnny Murtagh [3]
10 JOINT ASPIRATION (Ridgeway Downs Racing) Mick Channon 3- 9-00 Ted Durcan [5]
11 HIGHER LOVE (DGH Partnership) Michael Bell 3- 9-00 Darryll Holland [1]
12 FEN SHUI (Godolphin) Saeed bin Suroor 3- 9-00 Frankie Dettori [8]

12 ran Time: 2m 39s Distances: 1 1/2, 3, 1, nk, 5, 8, 2 1/2, 6, 1 3/4, 1, 13 Breeder: Shadwell Estate Co Ltd Breeding: b f Unfuwain - Midway Lady (Alleged) Totes: Win: £3.90; Places: £1.60; £2.10; £2.90 Exacta: £21.30


Eswarah followed her mother Midway Lady, the 1986 Oaks heroine, when holding off a persistent challenge from Something Exciting to win the Classic by one and a half lengths.

It was a proud moment for trainer Michael Jarvis, who led up the 1966 Derby winner Charlottown and is one of Britain’s longest-serving trainers having held a licence since 1968.

“I’ve been doing this job for a very long time so to win a Classic at Epsom as a trainer means an awful lot to me,” said Jarvis. “Epsom has been very good to me, I led up a Derby winner and have had a lot of success here, including in the Vodafone Coronation Cup, but this is something else.

“Her mother was very good and this filly is exceptional and all credit to Ben Hanbury who had her last year and always said she was good.

“Since she came to me from Ben’s in the winter she has always worked exceptionally well. I thought I had a good bunch of unraced fillies and she just kept improving out of all recognition.

“I thought she had a first-rate chance in her maiden and after she won that nicely I stepped her up and worked her with better animals at home.

“Having watched a lot of gallops, nothing pleases you better than to work one that quickens up and goes three lengths clear. She did that every time and was worried not to test her too often.

“Originally I was thinking that we may have gone too soon but then I watched the race again and it was probably a winning move. We had planned to hold her up a bit longer and I was willing that winning post to come. I was also worried that this would be the first time she got in a tussle, you never know what will happen.

“I’ve also brought horses to Epsom that I was sure would handle the track and didn’t while others that I was worried about were fine, you simply never know until they try it.

“Today was the first time she had had a couple of smacks so we’ll have to see how she comes out of it. I’ll slightly sit on the fence about where she goes now, Sheikh Hamdan pointed out she has had three races in five weeks now and it could all come a bit quickly having not raced at two. The Irish Oaks is the obvious race but we could look at the Yorkshire Oaks.”

Jockey Richard Hills added: “They jumped off and went very very fast which I was happy about because I wanted to give her some daylight as she is an inexperienced filly who could then show her turn of foot.

“I hadn’t shaken off the other filly and so had to ask mine for more and she quickened again. She slightly bobbed in front but that’s just her style, it’s because she’s changing gears so quickly.

“Each time Michael asked me to come and ride work, she just got better. I always got off and we just smiled at each other.”

Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum added: “This is a great race and there is double happiness as her mother won the race. She was not among our top four two-year-olds last year when she was when Ben Hanbury but then we transferred her to Michael when I heard from the racing manager that the trainer was very happy with her. I saw her twice last year at Ben’s. He said she was lame and she needed time.

“After her first run, the jockey said she gave him a very good feel and he said in the last two furlongs she went on easily and that we had to go again to Newbury for a Listed race.

“I was in Dubai then and we thought after that that she should go for the Oaks. She wasn’t one of our top foals or yearlings to look at. Midway Lady is very crooked so we tried to breed her to something less crooked and we were trying for a mile and a half horse and hoping for a colt.”


3 b f Unfuwain (USA) - Midway Lady (USA) (Alleged (USA))
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum Breeder: Shadwell Estate Co
Form: 111 Trainer: Michael Jarvis Jockey: Richard Hills

Has emulated her dam Midway Lady, who won this classic for Ben Hanbury 19 years ago. In fact, Hanbury trained Eswarah as a two-year-old, though she did not race, and, following his retirement, the filly was transferred to Michael Jarvis, who has been quick to praise Ben for the help and advice that he has offered over the family traits. The dogs were barking over the talents of Eswarah before she made her belated debut at Newbury in April, and, starting favourite, she duly delivered with a smooth two and a half lengths success over Alumni, who went on to win the Cheshire Oaks. That encouraged her trainer to take in a Listed race at Newbury to determine whether she was Oaks material, and Eswarah passed the test with flying colours, scooting clear in the last quarter-mile to win with a ton in hand. Today she won the Vodafone Oaks most gamely.

Race Record: Runs 3: 1st 3: Win and place prize money: £245,602

Hamdan Al Maktoum
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the second-eldest brother of the ruling family of Dubai. He is Dubai’s minister of finance and industry and, like other family members, has invested vast sums in bloodstock. He was elected an honorary member of the British Jockey Club in 1989. Around 300 horses carry his distinctive silks of blue with white epaulettes, and are trained in Britain mainly by John Dunlop, Ed Dunlop, Michael Jarvis, Marcus Tregoning, John Gosden, Mark Johnston, Sir Michael Stoute and Barry Hills. Sheikh Hamdan also has horses trained in America, Australia, Dubai and France. He has owned two Vodafone Derby winners, Nashwan (1989) and Erhaab (1994), as well as numerous other big-race winners around the world, including At Talaq and Jeune, who won the Melbourne Cup in 1986 and 1994 respectively. In 2000 he gained his fourth success in the 1000 Guineas when Lahan followed the examples set by Salsabil, Shadayid and Harayir while Nashwan provided him with a first 2000 Guineas victory in 1989, which was emulated by the Barry Hills-trained Haafhd this term. He is also involved with Godolphin. A prolific and highly-successful breeder, Sheikh Hamdan owns Shadwell Stud in Norfolk, Beech House Stud in Newmarket, as well as studs in Ireland and Kentucky, which together house over 160 broodmares. Vodafone Oaks Wins: 1990 SALSABIL; 2005 ESWARAH

Michael Jarvis
Born August 14, 1938, Michael Jarvis is one of Newmarket’s longest-serving trainers, having held a licence since 1968. Jarvis rode three winners as a jump jockey, served as head lad to Towser Gosden for six years, had a further two years in the same role with Gordon Smyth, during which time he led up the 1966 Derby winner Charlottown, before becoming private trainer to owner David Robinson, a post he held for eight years. Based at Kremlin House Stables in Newmarket, where he has a three-figure team in training this year, he has enjoyed several notable big-race victories. These include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Carroll House in 1989, the 2000 French Derby with Holding Court and in 2001 he had a first British classic triumph when Ameerat took the Sagitta 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Jarvis saw further big-race success with Rakti in the 2003 Group 1 Champion Stakes, 2004 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot and this year’s Lockinge Stakes. His second British classic success came in today’s Vodafone Oaks.

Vodafone Oaks Win; 2005 ESWARAH

Richard Hills
Born in Newmarket on January 22, 1963, minutes after his twin brother, Michael. The Hills’ hugely-successful racing family also consists of father, Barry, and brother, John, who are both leading trainers. Charlie, another brother, is a successful amateur rider and assists his father. Hills served his apprenticeship under Tom Jones and rode his first winner on Border Dawn at Doncaster on October 26, 1979. He first met the man by whom his riding services are now retained, Hamdan Al Maktoum, through that apprenticeship when the Sheikh installed record-priced 625,000gns yearling Ghadeer in Jones’ hands. Hills took on Willie Carson’s role as first jockey to Hamdan Al Maktoum. Lahan provided him with a second 1000 Guineas success in 2000, having also won the race on Harayir in 1995. Mutafaweq gave Hills another classic triumph in the 1999 St Leger and he also won last year’s 2000 Guineas on Haafhd, trained by his father. Other big race successes include the 1999 Dubai World Cup on Almutawakel, the 1990 Ascot Gold Cup on Ashal, the 1998 July Cup on Elnadim, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 1994 on 66/1 shot Maroof and on 33/1 chance Summoner in 2001, the 2001 Grade 1 Canadian International on Mutamam and the 2001 Dubai Champion Stakes, 2002 Dubai Sheema Classic and Juddmonte International as well as the 2003 Prince of Wales’s Stakes with Nayef.

Vodafone Oaks Win; 2005 ESWARAH

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