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Byline: Tony O'Hehir

USER FRIENDLY was one of the better fillies to win the Irish Oaks, although her performance at the Curragh could hardly be described as the best of her career.

Bred by her owner Bill Gredley, User Friendly (pictured) was unraced at two and made her debut in April 1992 when she won a maiden at Sandown. It was the start of a six-race unbeaten run for the daughter of Slip Anchor that carried her through to victory in the St Leger in September, taking in the Lingfield Oaks Trial, the Oaks and the Irish and Yorkshire versions en route.

Trained by Clive Brittain, she was ridden to all six victories by George Duffield, and following her success at Epsom, where she beat the favourite All At Sea by three and a half lengths, she started at 8-11 at the Curragh.

Her eight rivals included the Dermot Weld-trained Market Booster, who had finished second to Marling in the Irish 1,000 Guineas before winning the Pretty Polly Stakes, and Ivyanna, who had won the Italian Oaks for Jim Bolger on her previous start.

Sent to the front on the bend into the straight, User Friendly stuck to her task and stayed on to become the eighth filly to complete the Epsom-Curragh Oaks double, a feat that has been achieved four times since.

She held Market Booster by a neck. Ivyanna ran well below expectations, finishing last, but her stablemate Arrikala, a 25-1 shot, produced a career-best performance by finishing half a length back in third.

Arrikala, who had won the Curragh Cup on her previous start, looked unlucky not to have caused an upset when denied a clear run in the closing stages of the race.

User Friendly's winning streak ended in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe when she lost out by a neck to Subotica, before finishing sixth in the Japan Cup. The following year she won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, her fifth win at Group 1 level, and her only success from five attempts at four. Sent to be trained in the US in 1994, she ran only twice, bringing her score to eight wins when landing an allowance race at Del Mar. Tony O'Hehir
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2012
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