With just two weeks to go to the Epsom Oaks, the fillies version of the Epsom Derby, it’s time to take a look at the ante-post market and the runners and riders in an attempt to discover some potential value and identify some top racing tips:
Installed as favourite after out-staying her opposition in the 1,000 Guineas under Ryan Moore, though no filly since Kassia in 2002 has achieved that double. It remains to be seen whether she can step up 4-furlongs to win her second classic, though her pedigree suggests she should actually improve for it
Also ridden by Ryan Moore when winning the Chester Vase, and has proved her stamina. She impressed that day from the front and may well take some catching if she’s given an easy lead. It will be interesting to see who rides her in the assumption that Moore won’t desert the 1,000 Guineas winner.
Last year’s Prix Marcel Boussac winner didn’t come to herself in time for the 1,000 Guineas winner but trainer Aidan O’Brien holds her in the highest regard. Beaten at odds-on in her prep run, but that was soft ground, and it’s likely she’ll be cherry ripe for the big day. The daughter of Galileo is bred for the job, and she’s another one who Ryan Moore will have the option to ride.
Crystal Zvezda 13/2
Another trial winner ridden by Ryan Moore, this time for trainer Michael Stoute. Dubawi’s off-spring often excel at the 10-furlong trip of that trial, though she has been well-backed in recent days.
Star of Seville 10/1
Looked excellent on her seasonal reappearance at Newmarket, and didn’t let her backers down when following up at York. The Gosden stable won it with Taghrooda last year, and she looks difficult to keep out of the frame.
Jazzi Top 12/1
Another Gosden inmate who battling to victory at Newmarket on Guineas day. Beautifully bred and certainly looks like she’ll handle the step-up in trip.
Andre Fabre’s Al Namaah and Luca Cumani’s Lady of Dubai are other possible springers in the market.
You have to wonder whether Ryan Moore even knows which one of his trail winners is the best, or will prove best over the 12-furlong trip and quirky Epsom undulations. However, John Gosden has his horses in great form and he may well be able to double-up after last year’s victory for Taghrooda – with Star of Seville looking the each-way value.