Snow Fairy's late surge under Moore's guidance helps give Dunlop his second Oaks win

RYAN Moore produced a champion jockey's ride to win the Investec Oaks on Snow Fairy and record his first victory in a Classic.

The three-times champion jockey, who rides the leading British entry and recent York runner-up Workforce in today's Epsom Derby, rewarded the judgment of Snow Fairy's connections.

They paid a 20,000 fee to enter their star filly in the Oaks after she won the Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood two weeks ago – money more than recouped following Moore's masterclass.

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Third last turning for home, Moore and Snow Fairy made rapid headway through the field and finished strongly up the far rail to score by a neck from the outsider Meeznah, with pre-race favourite Aviate only seventh for Henry Cecil.

Typically Moore – whose brothers Jamie and Josh are accomplished jump jockeys – showed little emotion afterwards. He is the complete opposite to the extrovert Frankie Dettori and rivals Lester Piggott for economy of words.

"It was a very rough race. We just decided to take her back and give her a chance," said Moore. "The gaps opened up nicely and she quickened well."

Snow Fairy's trainer Ed Dunlop, who won the race in 2004 with the great Ouija Board, was more forthcoming. "I've lost my voice, it's amazing. I thought Ryan gave her a most amazing ride," he said.

Moore will try to become the first jockey since Johnny Murtagh nine years ago to complete the Derby-Oaks double in the same year.

However, history is against his mount Workforce, the 5-1 second favourite and runner-up to Cape Blanco in last month's Dante – 95 horses have failed to win the Epsom blue riband after being defeated in the York feature.

This perturbing statistic, which also appears to diminish Coordinated Cut's chances, perhaps explained trainer Sir Michael Stoute's pessimism last night.

"He's a bit short of experience and is workmanlike at home," said Stoute whose four Derby wins are headed by the ill-fated 1981 hero Shergar. "I'm sorry that we've not managed to give him two races before the Derby as that was the plan, but he was slow to come to himself and is a big horse."

Indeed, it is a measure of the wide-open nature of today's Derby that top Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien's dominance could win the Classic with his third or fourth string.

With St Nicholas Abbey injured, and the aforementioned Cape Blanco now contesting tomorrow's French equivalent, O'Brien's Jan Vermeer has become a warm 7-4 favourite.

He is joined by stablemates At First Sight and Midas Touch – the big race tip of former champion jockey Kieren Fallon in today's Yorkshire Post – as O'Brien seeks his third Derby win.

Although the Ballydoyle trainer was successful with Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002), the Derby has not been his luckiest race considering his vast number of entries in recent years.

It would also be no surprise if Fallon's judgment was vindicated and Midas Touch, unheralded before winning Ireland's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial impressively, wins a first Derby for jockey Colm O'Donoghue.

The subject of a sustained gamble yesterday, O'Donoghue said: "The trial he won at Leopardstown has always been a very good one. He did it workmanlike, but he did a very good time so hopefully he has come forward from the run."