Was (horse)

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Racing silks of Derrick Smith.png
Racing silks of Derrick Smith
Sire Galileo
Grandsire Sadler's Wells
Dam Alluring Park
Damsire Green Desert
Sex Mare
Foaled 11 May 2009
Country Ireland
Colour Bay
Breeder Lodge Park Stud
Owner Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor
Trainer Aidan O'Brien
Record 9: 2-1-3
Major wins
Epsom Oaks (2012)

Was is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. She is best known for winning the Epsom Oaks on her third racecourse appearance.


Was is a bay filly with a narrow white blaze and white socks on her hind feet, bred by the Lodge Park Stud in County Kilkenny, Ireland. She was sired by the 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo out of the mare Alluring Park, a half-sister of the Derby winner New Approach.[1] In October 2010, the filly was sent to the Tattersalls sales where she was bought for 1,200,000 guineas by the bloodstock agent Dermot "Demi" O'Byrne on behalf of John Magnier's Coolmore organisation.[2] The price made her the most expensive European yearling of 2010.[3]

Racing career[edit]

2011: two-year-old season[edit]

Was first appeared on a racecourse in a maiden race at the Curragh on 7 August. Ridden by her trainer's son Joseph O'Brien, she won by two and a half lengths from her stable companion, Cabin, and ten other fillies.[4]

2012: three-year-old season[edit]

Was made her three-year-old debut in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas on 16 May. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, she finished third of the six runners behind Princess Highway. On 1 June Was started a 20/1 outsider for the Epsom Oaks, in which O'Brien ran five fillies including Maybe who started second favourite. Was went into the lead from the start but was then settled behind the leaders by Heffernan. She regained the lead two furlongs from the finish and ran on under pressure to win by a neck from Shirocco Star.[5] The filly was expected to run in the Pretty Polly Stakes on 1 July, but was withdrawn (along with Maybe) because of the extremely soft ground.[6] In the Irish Oaks three weeks later, Was appeared to be badly hampered in the straight before finishing fourth, beaten more than five lengths by Great Heavens. In August, Was was brought back in distance for the ten furlong Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, and finished third behind The Fugue and Timepiece. Later that month she finished third to Shareta and The Fugue in the Yorkshire Oaks. On her final appearance of the year she finished unplaced behind Sapphire in the British Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes.

2013: four-year-old season[edit]

Was began her third season in the Abu Dhabi Stakes over one mile at the Curragh on 25 May. Ridden by Joseph O'Brien she started at odds of 11/2 and finished fourth of the eight runners behind Chigun. On 30 June Was started 5/2 favourite for the Pretty Polly Stakes and finished second, half a length behind the winner Ambivalent and a neck ahead of Shirocco Star.

Breeding career[edit]

Was retired from racing in 2014 and was bred to War Front, to whom she produced a filly in January 2015.[7]


Pedigree of Was (IRE), bay filly, 2009[8]
Galileo (IRE)
Sadler's Wells
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Fairy Bridge Bold Reason
Urban Sea
Miswaki Mr. Prospector
Allegretta Lombard
Alluring Park (IRE)
Green Desert
Danzig Northern Dancer
Pas de Nom
Foreign Courier Sir Ivor
Courtly Dee
Park Express
Ahonoora Lorenzaccio
Helen Nichols
Matcher Match
Lachine (Family:19-b)[9]


  1. ^ "There Was an upset in the Oaks - Handicappers' Edge". Brisnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  2. ^ "Tattersalls October Yearlings (Book 1) 2010". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  3. ^  By Nancy Sexton 4:35PM 1 JUN 2012  (2012-02-15). "Oaks success for 1.2 million guineas filly". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  4. ^ "Results from the 2.05 race at CURRAGH (IRE) - 7 August 2011". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Results from the 4.05 race at EPSOM - 1 June 2012". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  6. ^ Last Updated: July 1, 2012, 9:08 BST (2012-06-26). "O'Brien pair miss Polly". Sporting Life. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  7. ^ Staff. "Mare Produce Records- Was". Equineline. Equineline. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Was pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Constantia - Family 19-b". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2013-06-01.