Somehow breezes to Dahlia Stakes win for O’Brien


Somehow and Ryan Moore stretching clear from Elbereth

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Report: Newmarket, Sunday

Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes (Group 2), 1m1f, 4yo+ f/m

It is reassuring for everyone with an interest in horseracing to know that sometimes, somehow, even Aidan O’Brien can misjudge a horse.

It does not happen very often, and when it does it is normally corrected in an instant. However, occasionally it takes a little longer for things to click for the master trainer.

Things have been clicking very loudly this season with Somehow, who made it two wins out of two in the Dahlia Stakes – and provide Ryan Moore with a record sixth success in the race – as O’Brien gradually drops her down to what looks to be her optimum trip of a mile.

Last summer, perhaps prompted by her dam being the triple Oaks winner Alexandrova, Somehow had been competing over a mile-and-a-half. It seems a trip more in keeping with a blend from her dam and sprinter sire Fastnet Rock will help her reach new heights.

O’Brien said: “She’s a really progressive filly and she’s best when you don’t break her rhythm. She’s out of Alexandrova, who was a superstar, and is by Fastnet Rock. What we know about Fastnet Rock is that his horses get better as they get older. She’s four now and very progressive.”

Her progression is likely to earn her a first crack at a Group 1 since she contested the Irish Oaks last summer, with O’Brien seeing this race as a perfect sighter for Al Shaqab Lockinge Newbury on May 20.

“She’s a lovely mare and we always liked her a lot last year,” he said. “She won really nicely at Gowran and the idea was for her to come here and if she ran well to go for the Lockinge.

“The trip doesn’t seem to bother her and I think she’s got the speed for a mile now. She really enjoyed it today and Ryan was always happy with her.”

Ladbrokes and Paddy Power both cut Somehow to 12-1 (from 20) to give O’Brien a second win in the Lockinge, a race only Hawk Wing has captured for the trainer.

Runner-up Elbereth provided another highlight for her owner David Taylor, and he is likely to see her in action in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom next month.

He said: “I feel so lucky – we never expected this. This is the big time – there’s Coolmore, Godolphin and little old me. To finish second to Coolmore is a win in my book.

“She’s taken us to Istanbul, Milan and now 1,000 Guineas day here – we’re having a wonderful time with her.”


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