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‘I gave her an impossible task and she got me out of a hole’ – Fairy Godmother flies late for Albany success

3 minute read

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore got day four of Royal Ascot to the best possible beginning when Fairy Godmother overcame what looked like an insurmountable task to land the Group 3 Albany Stakes.

FAIRY GODMOTHER winning the Albany Stakes at Ascot in England.
FAIRY GODMOTHER winning the Albany Stakes at Ascot in England. Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Fresh off the back of steering Kyprios to victory in the Ascot Gold Cup yesterday, Ryan Moore found himself in a spot of bother on Aidan O'Brien's juvenile.

The daughter of Night Of Thunder appeared to be travelling strongly approaching the three-furlong marker but was strongly for any racing room behind a wall of horses. Moore searched for a gap down towards his right but once again found his path blocked and one can only imagine his next route was something close to plan Z. A sharp left turn towards the near side rail would see Fairy Godmother in the clear, but she still had plenty of ground to make up on those in-front. However, Aidan O'Brien's charge spoon began to hit top gear and in a matter of strides, she swooped late to join both her stablemate Heavens Gate and Simmering, who looked to be coming with a winning run after travelling strongly under a patient Jamie Spencer ride.

With 20 yards to travel the result looked inevitable and Fairy Godmother powered past her rivals, coming clear for a remarkable three-quarter length success.

The Ollie Sangster-trained Simmering battled on well to grab the runner-up spot, with Heavens Gate beating the well-fancied Charlie Appleby filly Mountain Breeze to the bronze medal position.

"I gave her an impossible task and she got me out of a hole," said the winning rider, who was quick to give all credit to the horse.

"I wanted to be towards the stands' side a little bit, the best horses were there. We didn't go mad; we had all the horses in front of me and around me and it was incredible that she was able to win from that position so all credit to her."

It was a second career success for the 15/8 market leader after she went one better than on debut to claim Group 3 honours at Naas last month and whilst Ryan Moore may have been self-critical on his ride, the winning trainer Aidan O'Brien was full of nothing but praise.

"Ryan gave her an incredible ride," said the master of Ballydoyle. "She's an incredible filly, isn't she? We thought she couldn't get beat the first day and couldn't believe she got beat. Ryan said he was just going to teach her and educate her the next day, and take his time on her, and she did the same thing - he came from an impossible position and won well on the line. What she did there is incredible, and she's only going to get better with every race, she'll get stronger and will stay. She's very exciting.

"Ryan was super-cool on her. He was worried where he was drawn that he had no cover, which is why he was going to take his time, come over and come back, which is easier said than done, but he did it. I'd say he was organising and trying to get her over, get her over, get her over, but it's a very difficult thing to do. It's difficult to do that, and everything not going right, and still have her when you want her. He was brilliant.

"Ryan said he thought she was going to be a Moyglare filly, so seven would be no problem for her this year. She's obviously exceptional. We knew Ryan was going to produce her late and we knew she had a devastating turn of foot because she showed it the last day - what she did then was very rare, but to come up another level and do it here is unbelievable.

Understandably, Paddy Power was suitably impressed and made the winner their 5/1 favourite (from 12s) for the 2025 1000 Guineas, while Unibet went 6/1 (from 25s) for the 2025 Epsom Oaks.

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