‘Oh So Grand’s Winter Oaks win sparks hopes of Group success, leaving connections in awe of her progression’

‘Oh So Grand’s Winter Oaks win sparks hopes of Group success, leaving connections in awe of her progression’

A stylish winner of the trial, the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained four-year-old showed a tremendous change of gear under Jack Mitchell to come from the rear and put daylight between her and the field, with Queen Regent staying on for second. The Postponed filly was completing a hat-trick following wins at Newcastle and Lingfield, and Mitchell said: “Her level of progression from run to run is mind-blowing. I know she won the trial in emphatic style but I was still travelling turning in there and when I asked her to go, it was electric.”

The Crisfords took the race last year with Al Agaila, who has since scored at Listed level, but are confident that Oh So Grand can prove herself Group class when the turf season kicks in. Crisford said: “She has continued to progress and really improved, and that was by far her best performance so far. Today has been the target all along, and that turn of foot is something we haven’t quite seen before. She showed a good finishing speed in the trial but that was even more so today. “She’s by Postponed, and a lot of his stock are quite slow maturing and develop along the way, and this filly is one of those. She’s neat, she’s nimble, she’s not too heavy-topped and I think in the summer, back on turf, over this mile-and-a-quarter trip, she’ll be winning Group races.”

Mitchell was completing a double having earlier guided the Tom Clover-trained Photosynthesis to victory in the 6f handicap. The Scott Dixon-trained seven-year-old was rousted along to get to the front by O’Neill and never saw another rival, kicking off the final bend and holding Bedford Flyer by half a length. O’Neill said: “He’s a horse who, when you get him to the front, can get a breather from the three to the two and slingshot off the bend, and I probably nicked it there.”

It was a ninth victory in the last two weeks for the jockey, who added: “It’s probably the best start to a year I’ve had. I’ve got a good association with Alice [Haynes] and she’s had a great start to the year, and I’ve ridden for Scott since 2013. “I’ve got a great agent in Nicky Adams, who works day in, day out to get me all these rides. “It’s very difficult to keep a mare sweet, she’s seven years of age now and we thought about going breeding with her but she’s told us otherwise now – either she doesn’t like sex or she just loves running, I’m not sure which!” Phelan said. “She’s probably lacking in pedigree a little bit to go breeding, but, having said that, I have a very enthusiastic bunch of owners here and they love her, and a couple of them actually want to put her in paddocks when she’s finished racing, so that’s exciting as well.”

Phelan added: “She’ll come back here in maybe a month’s time with a look to Good Friday. On her day she’s very good. Racing Post have got the best offers, all in one place.”

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