Aidan O’Brien’s Love impresses in Yorkshire Oaks win as thoughts turn to Arc

Titanic clash with John Gosden’s Enable remains on course for October

It is nearly half a century since Mysterious added the Yorkshire Oaks to victories in the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks, and the last filly to attempt to complete the treble – Kazzia in 2002 – failed miserably.

Love, though, made it look like little more than an exercise gallop here on Thursday, the dual Classic winner outclassed her field to win by five lengths and take over as the clear favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

Love is now top-priced at 5-2 to become the fourth three-year-old filly to win the Arc in the last 10 years, and while heavy ground at Longchamp could still be a problem, Thursday’s race removed any doubts about her ability to act on good-to-soft.

Enable, the Arc winner in 2017 and 2018 before finishing second last season, is 3-1 while Ghaiyyath, a dominant winner of Wednesday’s International Stakes here, is 6-1.

READ MORE

Aidan O’Brien, Love’s trainer, suggested after the race that he had been worried about a combination of slow ground and a lack of peak fitness, 47 days after her emphatic success in the Oaks. His fears proved groundless, prompting O’Brien to suggest afterwards that he has never had a better filly at this stage of their career.

“We would have treated this as her first run back in the autumn,” O’Brien said, “so you would think and hope that she would progress again from today. She’s been doing that from run to run, she’s getting bigger and wider and stronger. She was always very exciting, I don’t know whether we’ve ever had as exciting a filly at this stage. I can’t name one that has been as exciting as that at this stage, ever.”

Love will now go straight to Longchamp, bypassing an attempt to become the first fillies’ Triple Crown winner since Oh So Sharp in 1985, and O’Brien feels she will live with the pace if Ghaiyyath attempts to dominate from the front as he did on Tuesday.

“What I liked about today was that I was waiting on her to start labouring,” O’Brien said, “but she was coasting along and they all started labouring behind her.

“She cruises along and we know, looking at her last two runs, that she gets it [a mile-and-a-half] very well. Obviously, he [Ghaiyyath] was very impressive yesterday, but I would imagine she would love a good, strong pace in front of her, and she is a Guineas winner so you’d imagine that she’d be able to follow any kind of strong pace.” – Guardian