Yorkshire Oaks 2023: Warm Heart Delivers for O' Brien

It was ladies’ day at York on Thursday and two star fillies shone on the track, with Warm Heart booking a trip to California for the Breeders’ Cup with a brave success in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks 2023, her first win at the top level. Earlier, the precocious two-year-old Relief Rally improved her record to four-for-five when flashing home late to take the G2 Lowther.

Breeders Cup Odds

Yorkshire Oaks

G1, £500,000, 1m 4f turf, 3yo+ females

Warm Heart is hot stuff

As expected, Aidan O’Brien won his seventh Yorkshire Oaks at York on Thursday, but the victory came with his second-string Warm Heart, who prevailed over Free Wind in a thrilling finish with her barnmate and favourite Savethelastdance third.

2023 Yorkshire Oaks Race Video

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Warm Heart wins the 2023 Yorkshire Oaks

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Warm Heart was only the 9-1 fifth-choice after a heavy defeat in the mud at the Curragh, but the fast ground at York moved her right up and she was always travelling sweetly. She went to the lead a furlong out and showed plenty of grit to turn back the fierce rally of third-choice Free Wind by a head, with Savethelastdance fading into third after setting the fractions to the furlong pole, beaten a further two and a quarter lengths.

“I wanted to be the last to challenge and she is very brave,” said jockey James Doyle, who is retained by Godolphin and was riding his first winner for O’Brien.

The race was a win-and-in for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita and Warm Heart – for whom this was a breakthrough success at the top level – is heading for California.

“She is made for that race,” said O’Brien. “She has tactical speed and loves fast ground.”

Yorkshire Oaks Race Payouts

HorseWin (£)Place (£)
1. Warm Heart12.202.90
2. Free Wind 2.25
3. Savethelastdance 1.55

Winning time: 2m 25.86s

Lowther Stakes

G2, £267,500, 6f turf, 2yo fillies

Relief rallies to another victory

The almost unstoppable Relief Rally banked her fourth win from five starts when living up to her name in the Lowther, the 2-1 favourite finishing best of all to beat Cherry Blossom and Symbology.

Only a nose defeat at Royal Ascot denies her a perfect record and she stretched out an extra furlong in style here, sitting behind the pace set by Dorothy Lawrence until switching out to challenge under Tom Marquand with a furlong and a half to travel.

2023 Lowther Stakes Race Video

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Relief Rally gets the victory in the 2023 Lowther Stakes

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It looked as though time was running out but Relief Rally was in control, making the lead in the last 100 yards and winning comfortably at the line by a length, with third-choice Cherry Blossom coming out best in a blanket finish for the minors, a head in front of Symbology.

“I was impressed with the way she picked up, she is pretty good,” said trainer William Haggas. “We will make the most of her this year as she may not go on.”

Relief Rally is all precocious speed and will now cut back to five furlongs for the G2 Flying Childers at Doncaster on September 15.

Lowther Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWin (£)Place (£)
1. Relief Rally3.001.15
2. Cherry Blossom 1.70
3. Symbology 3.65

Winning time: 1m 10.89s

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