Oscula shows grit and class in equal measure to take Oak Tree prize

Connections heaped praise on Oscula as she again showed her grit when justifying favouritism in the Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood.

William Buick’s mount – trained by George Boughey for Nick Bradley Racing – was keen early on in the seven-furlong Group Three contest, but from a good draw in stall two the 100-30 chance found plenty of cover behind Soft Whisper, who set the pace from a wide berth.

Once the long-time leader faded, Internationalangel (66-1) was sent to the front by Adam Kirby and the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained mare looked all over the winner inside the final furlong, only for Oscula to show plenty of heart on the far rail, getting up in the shadow of the post to record a head success.

French raider Samahram caught the eye staying on for third, a further length and a quarter back.

It was the three-year-old winner’s fourth run in 25 days, being in action as recently as Saturday when second in the Group Three Valiant Stakes at Ascot.

Boughey said: “Oscula is a real flagbearer for Nick Bradley who is a big supporter of the yard.

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“She just keeps trying. My girlfriend Laura rides her out so it is a special success. She has run four times in July and I think she is peaking here. To have run four days ago, she is a remarkable horse.

“I sent a video to Nick and William Buick of Oscula charging round the paddock yesterday evening, she is a remarkable horse. She puts her weight on within 24 hours and she is a real star.

“It was a tough watch, but William is a huge part of the team so it was great. I’ve put her in a race in France in 10 days’ time so we might go there.”

Bradley said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Ascot was heartbreaking, she was winning everywhere bar the line. For a horse to do that on Saturday and then come and do this is unreal, she’s just so tough. She’s the horse of a lifetime, the horse of many lifetimes. She’s an absolute machine.

“Her constitution is unreal, her soundness in unreal, her will to win is unreal. She just keeps doing it over and over again. We’ve ridden her tactically a bit differently this year, we’ve held her up a bit more and she’s finished her races better.

“At Ascot I thought she had won everywhere bar the line, here I thought she was beat everywhere bar the line!

“She’s in at Deauville on the 15th, William has said to give her a break. The Foret is her long-term aim.”

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