Racing: Crowley fires an Oaks warning with Saoire

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The Independent Online

Saoire, sixth behind Virginia Waters at Newmarket three weeks previously, won a desperate finish to the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh yesterday. With Virginia Waters running tamely, her biggest rival proved to be the British raider, Penkenna Princess, but she held on grimly in a photo for Michael Kinane.

William Hill cut Saoire to 10-1 from 25-1 for the Oaks. "I've always thought of her more of an Oaks filly than a miler," Frances Crowley, her trainer, said. "She really appreciated the [softer] ground today."

Grey Swallow, returning to the scene of his Irish Derby success, had earlier thwarted the race-fit Bago in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. The Arc winner did not travel with any fluency and never looked like wearing down the grey. The pair are likely to meet again later in the summer in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

* Afleet Alex produced a superb display in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. In the second leg of the American Triple Crown, Giacomo, the shock Kentucky Derby winner, was third.