A case of blood will out as Forever Together breaks maiden in Oaks
Filly becomes the 71st individual Group 1 winner for her sire Galileo
It was a case of blood will out in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday as Forever Together – by Galileo and a sibling to two Group 1 winners – broke her maiden in spectacular fashion.
The filly, trained by Aidan O'Brien for the Coolmore partners, was an unlucky-in-running second in the Cheshire Oaks last month and met a little trouble again three furlongs from home at Epsom, but she stormed clear on the rain softened ground to win by four and a half lengths.
Dubawi was denied a first Epsom Classic winner with daughter Wild Illusion in second, while the O'Brien-trained Galileo fillies Bye Bye Baby, Magic Wand and Flattering filled the third, fourth and fifth positions.
Forever Together becomes the 71st individual Group/Grade 1 winner for Galileo, meaning he is just two off equalling his father Sadler's Wells' record. He has a chance of bringing up number 72 with Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens and The Pentagon trying for a first top-level triumph in the Investec Derby on Saturday.
If one of that trio wins, then Flag Of Honour or Kenya could make it 73 in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on Sunday.
Forever Together is a third Oaks winner for Galileo after Minding and Was, and Galileo's dam Urban Sea – who won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 25 years ago – has now appeared in the pedigrees of all of the last seven Oaks winners.
Galileo is also damsire of Qualify, while his sons New Approach and Nathaniel supplied Talent and Enable from their first crops.
Sea The Stars, Urban Sea's second Derby-winning son, is responsible for Taghrooda.
Forever Together was bred by Vimal and Gillian Khosla out of the unraced Theatrical mare Green Room, who has produced seven winners from eight runners.
The dam's first foal Lord Shanakill (by Speightstown) landed the Mill Reef Stakes, Prix Jean Prat and Betfair Cup, and her sixth foal Together Forever (by Galileo – so a sister to the similarly named Forever Together) scored in the Fillies' Mile.
Green Room has no two-year-old, as she was barren to Galileo in 2016, but she has yearling and foal fillies by the sire.
Incredibly, she was initially sold from the Juddmonte draft at the Tattersalls February Sale for just 20,000gns in 2005. One year later she was later bought by Templeton Railton Farms for $240,000 at the Keeneland January Sale.
The mare is a half-sister to Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Handicap heroine Spanish Fern, to the dam of Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner Heatseeker, and to the granddam of Gran Criterium scorer Hearts Of Fire.
She is in turn out of Chain Fern, a half-sister to Hamdan Al Maktoum's fine racemare and producer Al Bahathri – winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas, dam of 2,000 Guineas and Champion Stakes hero Haafhd and ancestress of popular stayers Big Orange and Red Cadeaux among others.
Unsurprisingly considering that pedigree, Coolmore had to dig deep when Forever Together was presented by Ballylinch Stud at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale in 2016 and her price reached €900,000.
Forever Together is another success for the late foal brigade, as she was born May 25. The finest example of how it is not always the early bird that catches the worm is Forever Together's paternal great-grandsire Northern Dancer, the breed-shaping sire having been born May 27.
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