Tuesday comes of age in the Oaks, as Aidan O’Brien sets Classic record

There was a smattering of rain ahead of the Cazoo Oaks, which proved a record-breaking one for Aidan O’Brien – an incredible 41st British Classic and a 10th Oaks.

Yet those sentimental souls who saw Tuesday and Ryan Moore come from an almost impossible position to fend off Frankie Dettori aboard Emily Upjohn in a pulsating finish, could be forgiven those droplets were tears from above for Josh Moore, Ryan’s brother, who is slowly recovering after a horror fall.

He has been hospitalised since breaking a leg, suffering broken ribs, a punctured lung and damage to his lower back in the incident at Haydock in February.

For O’Brien, the landmark success was secondary to the Moore family’s anguish.

“It is an emotional win for Ryan,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

Aidan O'Brien's thoughts were quick to turn to Ryan Moore's injured brother, Josh
Aidan O’Brien’s thoughts were quick to turn to Ryan Moore’s injured brother, Josh (Tim Goode/PA)

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh the whole time. It is the first thing we speak about every day, so please God he is on the road to recovery and please God he will keep recovering.”

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In typical O’Brien fashion, he repeated the same line to underline the point: The first thing they talk about. Always.

Ryan, to his credit, is a model professional. Publicly, he says little. Yet he is naturally sensitive about the subject. This is a close community, though. He and the Moores feel the love and on days like this, O’Brien speaks for everyone when he says: “It is unbelievable to be here. Ryan gave her an unbelievable ride and I’m so delighted for him and everybody. We all think about Josh on a daily basis.”

Favourite-backers may have feared their fate when Dettori was almost thrown by Emily Upjohn, who seemed to spin her wheels at the start coming out of the stalls, and lost at least five lengths.

Yet Tuesday was also well down the field turning Tattenham Corner and the pair had their own private duel up the straight with Moore getting first run and just prevailing by a short head.

The genius of O’Brien is often understated. Yes, he has plenty of high-class horses, yet Tuesday, in particular, is a special case in point.

Aidan O'Brien watches on wit his son, Joseph
Aidan O’Brien watches on wit his son, Joseph (David Davies/PA)

June 3 is her third birthday. This means she has been placed in two Classics at the age of two and backed up her Irish Guineas effort just 12 days ago, to give her master trainer yet another Oaks – and emulate her sister Minding, the winner in 2016.

Tuesday’s child was full of grace in the saddle – and out of it afterwards – as he paid tribute to O’Brien.

Moore said: “It was only her birthday today, and she is out of an unbelievable dam (Lillie Langtry). She put herself in with every chance very quickly and when she got to the front was still a little bit babyish.

“I think she is a high-class filly and I always thought she was. It has just taken a while to get her there but she is coming now and she is going to be exciting.”

He added: “Obviously, only Aidan can do that with these horses. To get her back and peak her 12 days after the Irish Guineas. He did the same with Minding. She came out of the Irish Guineas and won here. She is only just three and I think there is more to come.

“They are very similar. Minding was a similar size. This filly is maybe just beginning to ‘do’ now.

Ryan Moore reacts after winning the Oaks
Ryan Moore reacts after winning the Oaks (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“They have very similar attitudes and obviously both have a lot of class. This filly might be a slightly stronger stayer, but they are similar.”

O’Brien continues to rewrite the record books and has a strong chance in the Derby with his trio of Stone Age, Changingoftheguard and Star Of India.

He remains as grateful as ever for the support he gets from his team at Ballydoyle and takes as much time as he can to name each and every one of those who help him.

He is always quick and gracious to note that he is the figurehead of a brilliantly well-oiled machine.

“It is unbelievable for us to be a part of the whole thing,” he added.

“I am a small part of the team, but I am so delighted for everybody, because everybody puts in so much work, day in and day out, day and night, and it is unbelievable when everyone gets the return they get.

“Tuesday is 100 per cent home-bred and it is incredible. Ryan gave her a brilliant ride and Dean (Gallagher) rides her out every day – there are so many who look after her. We are so grateful to everybody for it and that is what makes it happen.”

In the aftermath, it was wonderful to see Moore smile following his fourth Oaks victory.

Equally, we got to witness a side of O’Brien that few see. One hopes this will be a welcome tonic for Josh and the healing continues apace.

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