Oscula took the Cazoo Woodcote EBF Stakes at Epsom, the opening event of the two-day Derby Festival.
Following a rescheduled meeting in July last year that was condensed into one day due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Classic fixture is back in its traditional slot in 2021, with a limited crowd also in attendance on the famous Downs.
Spectators had to brave showers all morning at the track, and the six-furlong opener was run in very murky conditions.
However, that made no difference to Oscula (15-2) who travelled supremely well for young rider Mark Crehan, taking Tattenham Corner with aplomb and shooting clear in the straight to provide yet another juvenile winner for trainer George Boughey.
The Galileo Gold filly came home three lengths clear of long-time leader Flaming Rib, with Maybury sticking on for third.
Crehan told ITV Racing: “It went to plan perfectly. Nick (Bradley, managing director of part-owner Nick Bradley Racing) and the boss, George, we went through the race a lot – and we know she jumps very well.
“That was the plan, to just jump well and keep it simple and try to dictate it from the front
“She’s done it nicely in the end – she’s a nice filly.”
Crehan is a 5lb-claiming apprentice and was thrilled to have an Epsom winner.
He added: “I can’t explain (what it means). I only had one winner last year. All credit goes to my boss, George Boughey – he’s been very, very good to me. I can’t believe it.”
Betfair offer 8-1 about Oscula for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Boughey said: “I think it was a pretty impressive performance.
“She’s shown us plenty at home, and we actually thought she’d take a bit of beating first time.
“We took her to Brighton, with this race in mind, just to let her come down the hill and see how she was.
“Mark got off her, and he’s ridden a lot of work for our two-year-olds, and he said she’s pretty smart.”
Of Crehan, Boughey added: “He’s a fantastic rider – his application at home, and he listens to what I say.
“I said to him when we started ‘if you get off on the right foot, then we’ll use you’, and I think it’s a testament to what I and Nick think of him that he’s a claimer and he rode in a conditions race without his claim – and did a fantastic job.”
Following the first race, the going was changed to good to soft.
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