Imagine winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas and The Oaks in 2001

  • b f Saddlers Wells – Doff The Derby
  • Foaled: 20 Feb 1998
  • Races: 10, Wins: 4
  • Breeder: Baronstown Stud and Orpendale
  • Trainer: AP O’Brien
  • Owner: Mrs David Nagle and Mrs John Magnier

Imagine Irish Thoroughbred Racehorse and Broodmare

Imagine was foaled in 1998, by the record breaking stallion Saddlers Wells out of Doff The Derby. Imagine was so named because Diane Nagle’s husband is said to use the expression ‘Imagine’ a lot.

She was highly thought of as a 2 year old and was pitched straight into Listed company, finishing third on her debut. On 14th September 2000, she lost her maiden tag at Gowran park, and seven days later finished fourth in the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Ascot.

A week later, she won the Park Stakes at the Curragh, before finishing second in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Continue reading about Imagine

Clearly, Imagine was something special and looked to be even better over longer trips.

Imagine’s first two races of her 3 year old career ended in defeat, both in Listed company. However, much better was to come and by June 2001, she had two Classics under her belt.

On 27th May, she won the Irish 1000 Guineas, and then secured a famous fillies Classic double for Aidan O’Brien. Imagine led the O’Brien team to a 1-2-3 in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the had stable secured a 1-3-4 in the colts’ version.

Just 12 days after she took the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Imagine added the Vodafone Oaks, a feat not achieved since 1966, by defeating the Queen’s Flight Of Fancy, who did not get the run of the race, with Relish The Thought third.

In the process, she completed a remarkable result for her father Sadler’s Wells, who was responsible for the first three fillies to finish.

Jockey Mick Kinane had partnered stablemate Toroca when Imagine triumphed at the Curragh in the belief that the half sister to Generous would prove a better Oaks contender. His luck may have been out then but his judgement on Friday proved spot on as Imagine overcame difficulty handling the Epsom hill and powered past her rivals in the straight to win authoritatively.

Flight Of Fancy endured a frustrating passage under Kieren Fallon. Checked by a rival as Fallon attempted to mount their challenge early in the straight, she was running on at the finish but never strongly enough to catch the winner.

Kinane had set out to track the Queen’s horse but soon had to concentrate on nursing his own filly to Tattenham Corner.

“I was a shade worried when we got among the backmarkers and she wasn’t acting that well and running a bit wide so I let her come down at my own speed rather than come six wide,” he said. “Once I asked her to pick up coming off the last part of the bend I knew we were going to win.

“She has a marvellous mind. Nothing fazes her. The Guineas was always going to be a huge bonus for her. A mile and a half is probably her forte and she must be a top class filly.

The trainer said: “Imagine what she would have done if she had come down the hill. For a filly that didn’t act to do what she did, she must be an amazing filly. Michael gave her a great ride.

“Her first season target was the Irish 1,000 Guineas and her second was the Oaks and she’s done everything we have wanted all the way. She always looked like she was going to get there. Michael was being patient and trying to leave everything as late as possible. He was nudging her and nudging her and then he asked to do what she wanted to do to win.”