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New Kids on the Champions Series Block: Love

29 Jan 2020

Has Aidan O’Brien got another live Investec Oaks contender on his hands? The Moyglare Stud Stakes winner is bred for the job

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Form: 2114325

Aidan O’Brien has trained the Investec Oaks winner four times in the past six years and been responsible for the runner-up when missing out. No wonder, then, that he is the first man to focus on when trying to identify the winner in advance. The simply named Love looks a likely Oaks contender for the master of Ballydoyle this summer. She was among the best of her generation as a two-year-old and, having had seven runs, will begin this year with plenty of experience in the bank. What was most encouraging about her efforts last year, over no further  than a mile, is that her pedigree suggests she will not be seen at her best until tackling middle distances. The Galileo filly is a sister to Peach Tree and Flattering, who have won or at least shown themselves to be effective over as far as 14 furlongs.

Love must have good prospects of big-race glory in 2020 if stepping up in distance beings out any improvement in her. She confirmed the promise of her first two starts when winning a 7f maiden at Leopardstown in July and then, a fortnight later over then same course and distance, won a Group 3 prize in decisive style. A steadily-run race did not suit her next time in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh before she stayed on strongly to land the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the same track at the main expense of a solid yardstick in Daahyeh.
Love finished her campaign with a highly creditable third behind Quadrilateral and Powerful Breeze in the Group 1 bet365 Fillies Mile at Newmarket. Her odds for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas range between 12/1 and 22/1. The QIPCO British Champions Series race in which she could really shine, though, is surely the Investec Oaks at Epsom in early June. Ladbrokes quote her at 20/1.