Cosmic Law targeting Ascot after Epsom joy

RICHARD Fahey is to reach for the stars with Cosmic Law after the exciting prospect stormed to a six length success in the opening race at Epsom's Derby meeting.

Cosmic Law and PJ McDonald win the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom.
Cosmic Law and PJ McDonald win the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom.

The Malton trainer nominated the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot after the PJ McDonald-ridden and John Dance-owned horse justified his faith at odds of 10-1 in the Woodcote Stakes.

The scintillating success completed a memorable week for McDonald and Dance, who enjoyed Group One success in France last week with Leyburn trainer Karl Burke’s Laurens.

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“I was expecting him to run well. But it’s amazing – you sit in the car on the way here, reading the paper, and you see he is the outsider,” said Fahey.

Jockey Patrick McDonald celebrates winning the Woodcote Stakes on Cosmic Law at Epsom. Picture: John Walton/PA

“You think I’m getting this very wrong here – or someone is, anyway. It’s just nice to see him win. He’s a grand horse and a horse we like. He’s quite a laid-back character and is getting better with racing, but to win by six lengths – I didn’t see that.”

Asked about what Cosmic Law would do next, he replied: “Coming down in the car I was thinking about the Coventry (at Royal Ascot) and then that we had no chance, but it is definitely in my mind and I will speak to John Dance. He’s a good-minded horse and if any horse could do it, it’d be him.”

As for McDonald, he said six furlongs brought out the best in Cosmic Law. “I thought he would improve for the step up in trip and I was not worried about the ground,” said the North Yorkshire rider, who reported the going to be soft. “He is going in the right direction.”

There was further Yorkshire success when Lake Volta led his rivals a merry dance in the Surrey Stakes for Middleham trainer Mark Johnston and jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

DELIGHT: Trainer Richard Fahey

The finale saw Shared Equity provide a first Epsom winner for Laybourn trainer Jedd O’Keeffe. He was ridden by Jack Garritty.

Meanwhile, Ballydoyle team tactics paid off in the Epsom Oaks after Aidan O’Brien’s Forever Together – ridden by his teenage son Donnacha – prevailed. The only horse among the nine runners not to have won previously, O’Brien’s five-strong contingent kept race favourite Wild Illusion, ultimately second, boxed in.

It was O’Brien junior’s second Classic this year – he partnered Saxon Warrior to 2000 Guineas success – and he is also aboard Kew Gardens in today’s Derby.

Earlier in the day, Cracksman – the highest-rated colt in Europe – had to dig deep in the Coronation Cup under Frankie Dettori to overhaul outsider Salouen, who had burst clear.