#UK RACING: Ezeliya Wins 2024 Epsom Oaks

Ezeliya - Chris Hayes
Ezeliya - Chris Hayes

Ezeliya delivered Irish trainer Dermot Weld his second Epsom Oaks 43 years since Blue Wind triumphed and six years before Friday's winning jockey Chris Hayes was born.

Ezeliya provided owner the Aga Khan with a first win in the race as he suffered the crushing disappointment in 1989 when Aliysa won but was subsequently disqualified.

Hayes looked in total control halfway down the finishing straight on the challenging camber track, in stark contrast to Irish favourite Ylang Ylang, the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly was struggling throughout the 1 1/2 mile (2400 metres) race.

Weld, 75 and whose globetrotting exploits are legendary having won two Melbourne Cups and a Belmont Stakes, welcomed back the winner with his sons Mark and Chris.

"A very special day, the competition these days is very keen," said Weld.

"She is a beautiful filly to train; I was never worried about the distance.

"This is my 25th classic winner in Ireland, England.

"Classic races are the pinnacle, it is what you do it for, what trainers are remembered for.

"I am very fortunate as for one that stands out, no they are all special, any classic race you win is very special."

For Hayes the winner is a 'queen' though he cast himself as a rather lowlier personality plucked from a British comedy 'Only Fools and Horses'.

Ylang Ylang's disappointing run leaves O'Brien without a classic winner this season, though, he has the favourite City of Troy in Saturday's 'blue riband' of flat racing, the Epsom Derby.




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