This Friday, May 31st, sees the 141st running of the Oaks at Epsom and the second fillies’ classic of the year promises to be an absolute belter.
The £523,000 feature race takes place on a card also containing the Woodcote Stakes and the Group 1 Coronation Cup, but it’s all about the three-year-old fillies as news is coming in thick and fast regarding each of the fancied runners with 16 acceptors left at the five-day stage.
John Gosden’s filly is improving rapidly and must be considered a leading fancy at attractive odds of around 7/1 at the time of writing.
The daughter of Frankel overcame greenness to win her trial at Lingfield, so while she’ll need to have learned from that and will be required to be a lot straighter this time she looks top class, will handle the track and will definitely stay the one-and-a-half mile trip too.
William Haggas’ daughter of Frankel carried with her a very big reputation into the Musidora Stakes earlier in the month and did well to finish just a neck behind Nausha. She needed the run and will definitely improve but it may be premature to say she’s the best to come out of that race as Entitle could improve just as much and she misses this event.
Another William Haggas filly, this time a daughter of Siyouni who created a great impression when destroying her Pretty Polly Stakes field at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting, and while the form hasn’t worked out too well she could not have done it any easier and she looks sure to keep improving as she goes up in trip.
She has plenty of tactical speed and even has an entry in the Coronation Cup at Ascot (1 mile), but her being by a Galileo mare and looking at how she stayed on over a mile-and-a-quarter having fared well on Newmarket’s undulations provides plenty of evidence she’ll stay this trip and could be hard to beat at around 7/1.
One of two major chances for trainer John Gosden, the impressive Cheshire Oaks winner has been added to the field at a cost of £30,000 and looks up to the task.
Despite her improving profile, she is very short in the betting this week at a general 2/1 given that she will need to have come on significantly from her performance at the Roodeye. Frankie Dettori must choose between this one and Anapurna.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has stressed that he was a little easy on his horses going into the trials and so there should be plenty of improvement to come from them, but even so for a filly who’d sat at the top of the betting for this race for a long time she needs to improve significantly.
She is a sister to Irish Derby winner Latrobe and won comfortably enough at Navan back in April, but her fifth place finish in France last season when tried in Group 1 company also doesn’t scream Oaks winner.
As always in the Oaks, it’s as much about trying to second guess how much improvement each of these fillies can show as well as taking into account top level form but we also have to take into consideration how well each trainer does.
John Gosden is a past master as is William Haggas so it would be no surprise to see Anapurna and Maqsad trained to the minute for this, both looking decent value to score.