The Oaks Preview
The Oaks (4.30 Epsom 3rd June) is the fillies middle-distance classic, so all runner are 3-year-olds, and it is run over 12-furlongs of the undulating Epsom racecourse.
Three of the last ten winners were trained by Aidan O’Brien, whilst Ralph Beckett has trained two winners in the last decade, though no jockey has won the race twice in that time.
Not bred to appreciate 12-furlongs, but showed plenty of stamina in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. Could also appreciate softer ground, and she’s no forlorn hope for Hugo Palmer, who has trained English and Irish classic winners in the past 12 months.
Showed best form on the all-weather so far, and was behind Harlequeen in the Musidora at York. Unlikely to appreciate soft ground either.
DIAMONDS POUR MOI
Looks sure to stay the trip, but no obvious reason why she’ll overturn Chester form with Somehow. Should appreciate the ground though, and an each-way chance.
This softer ground should be more to her liking after seeming to hate the fast ground in the Musidora. Had appeared to be on the improve before that reversal, and another with a decent each-way chance.
Looked awesome in winning the 1,000 Guineas, and came miles clear of the rest when beaten by Jett Setting in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, despite the soft ground there not being to her liking. The best horse in the race and, if she stays, she’ll win, but there has to be a big doubt about her stamina on this ground.
Her worst run came on the softest ground she has encountered and, as she’d had a run before winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial, there has to be a good chance that Architect will beat her this time around.
Won Goodwood’s Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood, after which Godolphin paid the £30,000 to supplement her for this. The owner isn’t short of a few quid, so not worried about the outlay, but she could still go close if she improves as much again as she did from her first to second runs.
Aidan O’Brien has won this twice in the last four years with fillies that weren’t the stable’s supposed first string, and she showed she definitely has the stamina after winning the Cheshire Oaks, despite not enjoying the sharp track.
Her stable was out of form when she finished sixth in the 1,000 Guineas, and she has plenty of form that gives her a decent chance. Stamina and her ability to handle this ground have to be taken on trust though.
The Oaks Summary
Aidan O’Brien would have preferred good ground or better for Minding but, she was still well clear of the rest when second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and could prove how good she is if she stays. However, with O’Brien winning the race with his second string twice in the last four years, it might be worth backing Somehow each-way, with Architect fancied to run with credit for up and coming trainer Hugo Palmer.