So easy for Queen Alexandrova the great

KIEREN FALLON gave another Epsom masterclass as he brought home Alexandrova to a gloriously easy victory in the Vodafone Oaks at Epsom yesterday.

Held up in the early stages, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 9-4 favourite scythed down her rivals in the home straight with a sweeping run down the outside and quickly went clear to win unchallenged.

The daughter of multiple champion sire Sadler’s Wells romped home by six lengths from rags-to-riches runner-up Rising Cross (33-1), with Short Skirt (9-2) a length and quarter further back, snatching third from gallant 1000 Guineas heroine Speciosa.

Micky Fenton took Speciosa to the front coming out of the stalls and the filly was soon happily bowling along in front.

There was little change in the order as the field hurtled round Tattenham Corner but once in the straight, Speciosa was challenged on all sides.

Although she made a fight of it, the writing was on the wall as Alexandrova came with an irresistible run down the outside as Fallon, who has also won the Derby twice in the last three years, showed once again that he has no peers when it comes to riding at this unique track.

Rising Cross did best of the others as she tried to stay with the winner but there was drama still to come as she stumbled at the furlong-pole, George Baker somehow managing to stay in the saddle and hang on for second place to justify her £20,000 supplementary entry fee.

Short Skirt, who had comfortably beaten Alexandrova in their previous contest at York, didn’t do her herself any favours when hanging left down the camber in the final stages but she ran on again close home.

Fallon, winning the Oaks for the fourth time, said: “I thought there would be a decent pace but they didn’t go that quick and when that happens you can get left behind when they quicken from the front, but I got there sooner than I wanted.

“I only really wanted to try and get her into a challenging position so I eased her out but when she saw some daylight she just took off with me.

“She gave me a really good feel and galloped all the way to the line.

“She never travelled after that bump when coming out of stalls at York but she went round there as sweet as a nut and she made it easy for me.”

Winning trainer Aidan O’Brien indicated the Irish Oaks would be the next stopping point for the successful filly but was not ruling out other options.

“Obviously there is the Irish Oaks but we always sit down and have a good talk after these races and we’ll see but she has enough speed for a mile and a quarter,” he said.

“She is a great filly and we always thought she was a real class filly. She went to York as a trial and the main purpose was to get her here ready for today.”

Bought for 420,000 guineas as a yearling at the Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket in October 2004, Alexandrova’s future will undoubtedly lie at the Coolmore stud empire, for whom this victory by a daughter of Sadler’s Wells provided yet another plaudit.

“Everyone knows that he is the best there has ever been and that we’re not going to see his like again,” said Coolmore supremo John Magnier, whose wife Sue is part-owner of the winner.

“At this stage of his career the mares he is covering are not so good and his fertility is dropping so he doesn’t have the same chances as some of the younger horses but he’s still the best for me.”

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