Emirates Park-raced filly lands major Epsom Oaks trial
The familiar red, blue and white colours of Emirates Park were carried to victory in a major European 3YO Classic trial when Mehdaayih scored an outstanding maiden stakes race win in the Listed Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks at Chester in the north-west of England.
An event won by dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable enroute to claiming the Group 1 Epsom Oaks of her 3-year-old campaign, the Cheshire Oaks frequently involves the leading Classic fillies of their respective generation, this year’s renewal witnessing Mehdaayih absolutely trounce her 10 rivals by four-and-a-half clear lengths.
Mehdaayih has now won three of her five career starts at 2- and 3-years and is very much in line for a crack at the time-honoured Epsom Oaks in the first week of June. The daughter of Frankel is yet to be entered for the world’s most celebrated 3YO Fillies Classic but can be supplemented for the race.
Coincidently, Mehdaayih is in the care of Enable’s trainer John Gosden. Speaking on behalf of his father in the aftermath of the victory, Thady Gosden remarked: “We have to talk to the owner [to see] if we supplement for the Oaks and that is up to him. Mr Nasser Lootah [owner] has a lot of horses down in Australia and we will talk to him and see what he wants to do.”
Gosden Jnr added: “The last race at Chelmsford was only a two-horse race and you couldn’t get a proper read of that. She couldn’t have done that any better and she couldn’t have done this any better.”
Winning jockey Robert Havlin claimed after the emphatic victory: “She was a little bit sluggish away. I had it in my mind I didn’t want to be down the inside as I knew there were a couple of fillies rated in the 70s there and at some point they would stop and come back.
“She had enough turn of foot to get out before the two-pole [400m mark]. She surprised me how she picked up. She loved the ground.
“Whether we go for the Ribblesdale or the Oaks, I will leave that to the boss. She showed a really good change of gear there. The last half-furlong she started to wander left, but I think she had a bit left up her sleeve.”
A supremely-bred daughter of Frankel, Mehdaayih is a direct descendant of Sayyedati, Europe’s Champion 3YO Filly in 1993 and Champion Older Mare in 1995. Her six career wins featured five Group 1 successes, namely the Cheveley Park Stakes (Gr.1), Curragh Moyglare Stud S. (Gr 1), Newmarket 1000 Guineas (Gr.1), Jacques Le Marios (Gr.1) and Goodwood Sussex Stakes (Gr.1).
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group