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We had one hell of a party when we won the Oaks back in 2003… let’s hope we are celebrating again with Sea Of Roses



THE Oaks is where it all began for me.

When you are a fresh-faced young trainer taking over from a legend like dad, you need to hit the ground running.

And wow, what a day Casual Look gave us at Epsom back in 2003.

It was a terrific race and she flashed past together with Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Yesterday, and I really wasn’t sure if she’d hung on or not.

We walked out onto the track not knowing the result and that agonising wait just makes you feel sick – but it was just pure elation when she was called the winner. 


We actually had three winners on the day at Epsom so it was a magic afternoon, and I remember very clearly Mick Channon saying to me as I walked back in: “Boy, the only way is down from here!” 

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Casual Look was owned by Will Farish who was the American ambassador at the time, and he threw a great party at the embassy later in the summer, which I have hazy memories of…

I think it was the highlight of his stint here because it was just post 9/11 and it wasn’t a particularly happy time to be in a role like that, but she gave us some good days.

Two decades on (where have the last 20 years gone?), SEA OF ROSES will try to give us another fairytale result.

She was fifth in the Musidora but I’m adamant that wasn’t her true running, she probably just wants further than a mile and a quarter. 

It was a stop-start race and Oisin thinks she is a good deal better than that and I’m inclined to agree with him. 


A stiffer test of stamina will be a big plus for her, though whether or not she needs slightly more ease in the ground remains to be seen.

There is a longer break than usual between Epsom and Royal Ascot this year, so we thought we would roll the dice and see what happens because you can probably do both meetings.

After all, you only get one opportunity in these races. 

Whatever happens I think she is a high-class filly – she will win us a big race at some stage.


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Source: The Sun


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