Snowfall produces biggest-ever Oaks win for Aidan O'Brien

16 lengths was the margin of victory on an incredible afternoon in Surrey

Friday, June 04, 2021

Snowfall rewrote the Oaks record books with a fearsome victory to extend Aidan O’Brien’s dominance of the British fillies Classic. 

The three-year-old moved on handsomely from scoring at Group 3 level at York to triumph by no fewer than 16 lengths on Epsom Downs.

Stablemate Santa Barbara went out as the favourite but Snowfall, under Frankie Dettori, ripped the field asunder to surpass the previous widest winning margin in the race - 12 lengths, set in 1983. 

“We thought she was very good last year and ran her in all the big races," said O'Brien. "She's got stronger over the winter. 

"We've been over the moon with her at home since her impressive victory in the Musidora at York. We knew she had a lot of class coming here and Frankie gave her a good ride. She looks special.”

It was a 40th British Classic victory for O’Brien and his fifth in seven years in the Oaks, taking his tally in the 1m 4f 6y contest to nine. 

So many of the recent triumphs have come in the unmistakable purple and white of Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier and Michael Tabor, following in the footsteps of St Nicholas Abbey and Highland Reel. 

Both O’Brien and jockey Dettori took one step closer towards another unique place in the annals of British racing history.

O’Brien pulled level with trainer John Scott on overall Classics wins and could surpass the 19th century figure with victory in Saturday’s Epsom Derby.

And Dettori equalled Fred Archery’s tally of 21 British Classic victories.

"She went through the field like a hot knife through butter,” said the inimitable 50-year-old.

“I had everything beaten in front but was afraid of Santa Barbara. When I saw some daylight I thought 'I'm going now' and she took off."

She looks special

- Aidan O'Brien

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