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Ezeliya is Oaks queen for Weld and Hayes at Epsom

Ezeliya shone in coming home an impressive winner of the Betfred Oaks at Epsom for trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Chris Hayes.

The Aga Khan-owned 13-2 chance was kept handy throughout the mile-and-a-half fillies’ showpiece and was in the middle of the field of 12 as they turned for home.

From there she began to gain ground, moving with real purpose and staying on strongly to take up the lead and see off a challenge from Charlie Appleby’s Dance Sequence – who did not help her jockey in the closing stages – to prevail by three lengths.

David Menuisier’s War Chimes ran a huge race in third at 50-1, but hot favourite Ylang Ylang was disappointing, never really being able to get in a serious blow.

“It’s a very special day. Competition is very keen nowadays and we’re very fortunate to have a filly for His Highness that is as good as this,” said Weld, who was winning the race for the second time, after Blue Wind in 1981.

“She’s a beautifully-mannered animal and a beautiful filly to train. Patience has paid dividend with her; we took our time with her as a two-year-old, and just gave her one run this year when she won nicely at Navan.

“She loves to come from off the pace, this is a progressive filly. She’s very relaxed and got a beautiful ride from Chris Hayes. She was cantering down the hill then he gave her a couple of strides and let her go.

“We will look at the Irish Oaks or wait for an autumn campaign.”

He added: “She’s a good filly, her dam was a very good filly, Frankie Dettori rode her at the Breeders’ Cup and then she ran in Hong Kong where she was third in the Vase.

“I was always pretty sure she’d stay, she’s from a great staying Aga Khan family that goes back to the Gold Cup horses Enzeli and Estimate, so that’s why I was confident about the trip.

“She’s also a very relaxed filly and it was a beautiful ride by Chris, I was pretty confident from a long way out, she was cantering, he got her into a beautiful rhythm which is important before you let them go, and he sat for those couple of strides.

“It’s a few years since I first won the Oaks, but I haven’t had many runners. It’s hard to get fillies like this. Harzand won the Derby here and I rode the winner of the amateur Derby here, and trained it!

“She looks like an Irish Oaks filly, but we’ll see how she is.”

The King and Queen were in attendance, presenting the trophy for the Coronation Cup before watching their filly Treasure run in the Oaks, where she was eased when her chance had gone, beating just one horse home.

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