Love sidesteps Curragh in favour of Yorkshire Oaks bid


Aidan O’Brien’s star filly Love will not be completing the Epsom/Irish Oaks double in 2020 and will instead head back to British shores to contest the Yorkshire Oaks.

Yorkshire to Paris

Just two weeks on from her decimation of the Oaks field at Epsom under Ryan Moore, it’s perhaps not surprising that O’Brien is opting to play the long game with his filly, who could well be one of the best we’ve seen in recent memory.

On plans for his filly, O’Brien said: “Love doesn’t run this weekend. She is perfect. What we are thinking at the moment is that she is probably going to go straight to York for the Yorkshire Oaks, and then on to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after that.”

Love paves the way

Love’s sidestepping of the Irish Oaks paves the way for stable-mate Ennistymon, who was second in the Epsom Classic, to try and grab her day in the sun by going one better at the Curragh. She’ll be facing tough competition, however, with O’Brien planning to send four to the contest.

Of his Irish Oaks runners, O’Brien said: “We are going to run Ennistymon, and Passion, who also ran at Epsom. We’re also planning on running Laburnum, who was just beaten in an Oaks trial at Naas, as well as Snow, who won the Oaks trial at Cork.”

Love parallels Enable

It’s been an interrupted and topsy-turvy campaign, but Love will, in at least a few ways, be taking the same sort of path Enable took to win her first Arc back in 2017. Enable won both the Epsom and Yorkshire Oaks before heading to Chantilly, and it looks as though Love will be heading straight to France after her bid for a fourth Group 1 success on the Knavesmire.

With Love and Enable clear at the front of the Arc market, we’re already looking at a potential race of the year contender before they’ve even lined up in the stalls. The young pretender will be looking to dethrone the Queen in a titanic tussle, and there aren’t many other races this season that will likely compare.

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