Even So gave trainer Ger Lyons his second Classic triumph of 2020 with a game success in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
Stepping up to a mile and a half from 10 furlongs proved no problem to the daughter of Camelot, who got on top in the final furlong to run out a ready winner.
Even So (10-1) was ridden by Colin Keane, who partnered the Lyons-trained Siskin to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last month.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Snow and Laburnum had made the running into the straight, when the complexion of the race changed.
Cayenne Pepper, the 2-1 favourite, struck the front for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley, but Even So – running in the pink colours of Sue Magnier – joined her and appeared to outstay her rival in the final furlong, crossing the line two lengths to the good.
Passion, from the O’Brien stable, was half a length back in third, but the Ballydoyle handler’s other runner, Ennistymon, was the disappointment of the race. The Epsom Oaks and Royal Ascot runner-up was at the rear throughout and finished last of the eight, never able to get into contention.
Lyons said: “She’s a lovely filly and has just thrived week on week.
“I was disappointed with her in Naas when she got beaten by Lemista, but Lemista has turned out special.
“I love how she has come on physically. Did I think she’d win an Oaks? No, I didn’t, but when she won the Oaks trial she earned her right to be here and if you’re not in it you can’t win it.”
He added: “It’s a great result, I’m delighted for Colin and for the team. I was just joking saying we should keep the country in lockdown because it’s working for me anyway.
“I’m thrilled because I love this filly. I thought she was smart. I didn’t know what an Oaks filly was, but I said if we had one this was her. She’s gone and done it so I’m delighted. I’m delighted for the owners.
“It was lovely to watch, it was different to Siskin. I couldn’t breathe watching Siskin, but with this one I enjoyed it all the way up the straight.
“I never had a worried moment, which is a strange thing to say.”
On training a horse for the Coolmore operation, he said: “There is no pressure from the owners and they are straightforward to work for. They’ve been around a long time and know more than I do.
“They’ve picked us for a reason and let us do our job which makes life so much easier.
“I’d be lying if I said we had a plan, we’ll enjoy this. I genuinely didn’t think she was good enough to win an Oaks. Now I have to pay her her dues and train her accordingly.
“She’s a very valuable filly now.”
Keane said: “Her work early in the spring was very good. We fancied her in Naas, but were just on the wrong side of the track.
“The last day at Naas, stepped up in trip on better ground, she really showed her ability.
“Today I thought if we were in the first three it would be a great run so to go and win is an extra bonus.
“It was pretty straightforward. We didn’t go overly mad and from the bottom of the hill we started stepping it up.
“My filly travelled everywhere and when I asked her she picked up and galloped to the line.”