Snowfall blows away opposition in Yorkshire Oaks

Snowfall claimed her third Oaks of the season after another stunning display in the Yorkshire version of the race at the Ebor Festival.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly surged away from her Yorkshire Oaks opposition in the final two furlongs to land a third Group One after completing the English and Irish Oaks double in spectacular fashion.

The race went to plan for the O'Brien camp through the early stages, with stablemates La Joconde and Divinely occupying the first two places in the early stages and keeping the gallop honest.

Wonderful Tonight, considered the main rival to the 8/15 favourite, tried to stamp her authority on matters but the faster ground was against her and she could not quicken.

Snowfall was going easily and cruised into the lead in the hands of Ryan Moore to seal it in a matter of strides. Albaflora finished well to claim second place, with La Joconde third.

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O'Brien said: "She's a very good filly and has always done everything very easy.

"She quickens very well and now she's laid back, she's starting to really thrive and put on weight.

"She's going to be really ready for the autumn, I think. She travels very well, gets there very easy and then waits.

"We always thought she was good. Last year was a bit of a mess with everything and she was probably rushed a bit too much.

"She did very well over the winter and she's by Deep Impact out of a Galileo mare, so she's got a very good pedigree and was always going to get better."

Snowfall now heads the market for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and O'Brien added: "I'll see what the lads want to do, but it's very possible she could take in another run (before the Arc).

"We'd be very happy to take in another run, I'd imagine. It depends what the lads want to do - whether they want to go to an Arc trial or go straight to the Arc."

"I'll see what the lads want to do, but it's very possible she could take in another run (before the Arc).

"We'd be very happy to take in another run, I'd imagine. It depends what the lads want to do - whether they want to go to an Arc trial or go straight to the Arc."

Of Albaflora, Ralph Beckett said: "I'm chuffed to bits. There was a great deal of discussion whether we were even going to run (because of the ground), but she was really well and thriving at home. When the ball is at your feet you have to kick it.

"We didn't win, I'm not sure we ever thought we were going to but I was pretty sure she'd run well if things went our way. She enjoys being ridden like that.

"To go and do that today when she's really a soft ground filly as well is great. We'll relax and then have a think about where next."

Wonderful Tonight was fourth under William Buick, but David Menuisier was taking positives from her run.

He said: "William's report was that she's not the same filly on good ground as she is on soft. I told him before the race if he felt she wasn't going on it to look after her. The plan today was to give her a good blow before the next step with the Arc as the target, and that's what we did.

"I'm really happy with the run, considering the conditions were not in her favour so I think there was no harm done.

"Last year when she ran in the Vermeille on good to firm ground she ran a similar race to today, we know when the ground gets softer she can easily improve by 10 lengths or more. She's basically the same filly she was last year on this sort of ground and that is why I'm not disappointed.

"We had to give it a go as I wanted her to have two races before the Arc as we saw at Goodwood that when she gets fresh she is keen.

"She switched off lovely today after a furlong and a half so she's done nothing wrong, it's just when it comes to the crunch she can't find the gears whereas on soft she has another two gears - that's the difference.

"Her next race will be at Longchamp, but it could be the Prix Foy rather than the Prix Vermeille because the fillies are better than the colts this year!"

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