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Evade’s victory in the Listed Surrey Stakes on Oaks Day at Epsom was matched by First World War, who won the Gr.3 Penn Mile Stakes at Penn National the same day. Both horses carried the colours of Qatar Racing and were ridden by Oisin Murphy and Frankie Dettori respectively.

Both horses were on recovery missions having blotted their copybooks when last seen, but both proved better than ever in success. Evade had taken to pulling in his races in France after his winning debut last July so his reappearance – having switched to the Archie Watson yard in Lambourn – was eagerly anticipated.

He lined up in the 6-runner Listed Surrey Stakes over 7f at Epsom as a 10/1 chance but won after a hard-fought battle with Wathnan Racing’s Native American, the pair 9 lengths clear of Balmacara and previous Listed winner Zoum Zoum.

The colt by Wootton Bassett now has two options at Royal Ascot: either the Gr.1 Commonwealth Cup dropped to 6f or staying over 7f for the Gr3 Jersey Stakes. A decision will be made nearer the time.

Evade winning the Listed Surrey Stakes over 7f at Epsom on Oaks Day

Whilst First World War had finished down the field in the Transylvania Stakes in April – albeit not getting the clearest of runs and not beaten far – he had won the Gr.3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream the time before.

He lined up in the 9-runner Gr.3 Penn National Stakes as one of the favourites and, despite being checked early, came wide and fast in the home straight to get up near the line.

First World War is owned in partnership with Hunter Valley Farm and trained by Brendan Walsh. He’s by influential sire War Front and out of Medaglia d’Oro mare Sundaysatthebeach, a winner who had finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Indiana Oaks.

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