Oscula makes her class count at Carlisle

Horse Racing

Smart filly could take on a Group One challenge later in the year.

Class came to the fore in the British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes at Carlisle with Oscula dominating in the closing stages.

Placed in Group One company as a juvenile, during a season which also saw her win the Woodcote at Epsom and a Group Three in France, she began this season with perhaps a little to prove after running no sort of a race in the Saudi Derby on dirt.

Having taken a step back in the right direction when second against the colts in Listed company on Derby Day, she was much the best back in against her own sex.

Ben Curtis hit the front with just under two furlongs to run on the George Boughey-trained filly and she quickly took two lengths out of the field.

While Clitheroe, Eidikos and the eventual runner-up Honey Sweet – also in the Nick Bradley colours of the winner – made late gains, the 15-8 favourite was a comfortable two-length winner.

Boughey said: “She was a cracking filly last year for us, it didn’t quite work out for her over the winter and after that we were able to give her a proper break.

“I think that was the making of her. She was Group One-placed last year, Ben gave her a cracking ride, she looked the class act in the field and I think we’ll be able to fly the flag a bit higher now.

“The plan was just to get today out of the way and there’s no target. Nick and I will talk next week and see where we’ll go, we’ll be in no rush with her.

“It’s not that she needs her races spreading out, more that there are some good races at the back-end (of the year) for her – could she be a horse for something like the (Prix de la) Foret? She’s a seven-furlong to a mile horse, she likes to travel but the fact we’ve made her a stakes winner at three is incredibly important.

“It’s great to get her back on the board as she’d shown us at home she was near her best and proved it there.”

Invincibly leads the field in the Carlisle Bell
Invincibly leads the field in the Carlisle Bell (Tim Goode/PA)

The excellent recent run of Karl Burke continued when Invincibly (17-2) landed the Stablemate By Agma Carlisle Bell Handicap – thought to be the oldest trophy in sport.

First contested in 1599, bells were awarded to each winner of the race during the reign of Elizabeth I and are now held in a museum.

Burke was winning the prize for the fourth time following on from Pas De Memoires (1999), Bold Marc (2007) and Miami Gator in 2011.

Invincibly burst through under Clifford Lee a furlong out and held off the game Tommy G by a length and a quarter with the favourite Makeen back in third.

Burke won two of the juvenile races at Royal Ascot as well as a Listed race at Ayr last week.

Lee said: “He’s very tough and going from the three to the two pole I had a good chance and a lot more horse underneath me – when I asked him he’s done it well.

“The yard is flying and this year has been a great year and hopefully it continues. We’ve got lots of nice horses at home and hopefully they can carry on going well. It’s been a great year for me and all the credit must go to my boss, he’s given me my first Group winner (El Caballo at Haydock) and hopefully it continues.”

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