Even So has given trainer Ger Lyons his second Classic victory of 2020 after his star filly took out the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
Stepping up to a mile and a half and doing with ease, Even So has recorded a stunning victory in the Irish Oaks, leaving the competition in her wake in the final furlong at the Curragh on Saturday.
With experienced jockey Colin Keane piloting the daughter of Camelot, Kean and Lyons had already tasted G1 success this year with Siskin in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last month.
While Even So wasn’t the market favourite, she showed plenty of reasons why she is a horse of the future.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Snow and Laburnum had made the running into the straight and looked to battle it out until Even So turned up and left them for dead.
Cayenne Pepper, the favorite, moved forward to the front for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley, but Even So – running in the pink colors of Sue Magnier – joined her, but got the better of her in the final furlong to win by two lengths in an impressive victory.
Passion, from the O’Brien stable, was half a length back in third, but the disappointment came from The Epsom Oaks and Royal Ascot runner-up Ennistymon who was tipped to run out the trip much better than her rivals.
The Epsom Oaks and Royal Ascot runner-up was at the rear throughout and finished last of the eight, never able to get into contention.
“She’s a lovely filly and has just thrived week on week,” Lyons said.
“I was disappointed with her in Naas when she got beaten by Lemista, but Lemista has turned out special.
“I love how she has come on physically. Did I think she’d win an Oaks? No, I didn’t, but when she won the Oaks trial she earned her right to be here and if you’re not in it you can’t win it.”
“It’s a great result, I’m delighted for Colin and for the team. I was just joking saying we should keep the country in lockdown because it’s working for me anyway.
“I’m thrilled because I love this filly. I thought she was smart. I didn’t know what an Oaks filly was, but I said if we had one this was her. She’s gone and done it so I’m delighted. I’m delighted for the owners.
“It was lovely to watch, it was different to Siskin. I couldn’t breathe watching Siskin, but with this one I enjoyed it all the way up the straight.
Lyons was thrilled for his team’s entire operation but felt calm approaching the race.
“I never had a worried moment, which is a strange thing to say.”
“Her work early in the spring was very good. We fancied her in Naas, but were just on the wrong side of the track.
“The last day at Naas, stepped up in trip on better ground, she really showed her ability.
“Today I thought if we were in the first three it would be a great run so to go and win is an extra bonus.
“It was pretty straightforward. We didn’t go overly mad and from the bottom of the hill we started stepping it up.
“My filly travelled everywhere and when I asked her she picked up and galloped to the line.”