18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Wagering and T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly | Advertising Disclosure

Ezeliya enters Oaks picture after Salsabil success

Ezeliya (left) and Chris HayesEzeliya (left) and Chris Hayes
© Photo Healy Racing

Ezeliya took the step up to Group 3 company in her stride when making a successful seasonal debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

The Aga Khan’s homebred daughter of Dubawi won a Cork maiden on the second of two starts as a juvenile and was sent off a 9/1 chance in this ten-furlong event. Everlasting headed stablemate Wingspan under two furlongs but faced a trio of challengers at the furlong pole including evens favourite Purple Lily

However, it was the Dermot Weld-trained Ezeliya that proved strongest on the outer getting on top inside the final 100 yards under Chris Hayes.

She beat Purple Lily, whose rider Billy Lee lost an iron in the closing stages, by half-a-length with Everlasting the same distance further back in third.

Weld said, "I thought she would run a big race and she did. It was a very true run Group race and they went a real good gallop for a mile and a-quarter.

"Chris took his time on her. He planned to sit a little bit closer but the pace they were going he waited. I loved the way she attacked the hill and saw her race out well. Better ground will suit her better.

"It is a lovely family - a good, tough family and I think she will get a mile and a-half. She is a Group 1 filly - lots to look forward to."

When asked about the Epsom and Irish Oaks, he replied: "She is in both and we will review it and see. We will see how she progresses during the week and make a decision in two weeks time."

Paddy Power and Betfair both cut Ezeliya into 14/1 (from 25/1) for the Epsom Oaks.

Quotes by Michael Graham

About Alan Magee
Alan has worked in the racing industry for well over 30 years including with the Sporting Life, Turform and Irish Racing Services. He took up his current role as Irish Racing Team Leader with the Press Association in 2013. He has a keen interest in most sports and plays golf.