06/02/2012 5:06PM

England: Was upsets English Oaks at Epsom


Was, considered one of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s lesser 3-year-old fillies, pulled a 20-1 upset in Friday’s English Oaks at Epsom Downs, holding off a sustained threat from Shirocco Star to win by a neck.

The Fugue, the 11-4 favorite, could only finish third in the field of 12 after racing in traffic early in the race over 1 1/2 miles on turf.

O’Brien started five fillies in the field. Maybe was the only filly at a shorter price than Was, going off at 10-3. Maybe finished fifth. The English Oaks, known through its sponsorship name as the Investec Oaks, was worth approximately $559,000.

Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, Was raced near the front throughout. She was third for the first mile racing along the rail, and snuck through to take the lead with more than a furlong remaining.

The victory gave O’Brien a sweep of the first three classics of the British season. He won the English 2000 Guineas (Camelot) and 1000 Guineas (Homecoming Queen) in early May. Camelot gave O’Brien a fourth classic win this year in Saturday’s Epsom Derby.

Was races for Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor. The winner of a maiden race at the Curragh in Ireland last summer in her only start at 2, Was finished third in the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes at Naas Racecourse in Ireland on May 16, her only start this year.