The 2015 Oaks looks set to be a real classic in every sense of the word with an extremely strong field going to post and it is possible to make out a decent claim for every one of the ten strong field.
The line-up includes the winner of this season’s second Classic, the 1,000 Guineas, but history is against Legatissimo‘s attempt to double up here, as is her draw as she has landed the number 1 berth.
Ryan Moore sticks with her regardless and he could have presumably ridden any of the Aiden O’Brien runners or, indeed, the Sir Michael Stoute filly Crystal Zvezda.
Of the two most fancied O’Brien runners, we narrowly prefer Together Forever, but rank outsider Qualify shouldn’t be dismissed too lightly and it’s worth remembering that the Coolmore team won this race with Was, who we tipped up at odds of 50/1.
If you fancy Together Forever, you also have to give a massive chance to JACK NAYLOR who beat her at the Curragh last August, giving her 5lbs. The O’Brien horse was third that day, with Legatissimo second, so the form couldn’t be much stronger.
There was also plenty of encouragement in Jack Naylor’s return to action in the Irish 1,000 Guineas recently, where she stayed on eye-catchingly well over an inadequate mile. The step up in trip should really suit Jessie Harrington’s filly and she looks cracking each way value at 7/1 with Bet365.
The same is true of LADY OF DUBAI, who should prove to be one of the strongest stayers in the contest. That means that if any of the forecast thunderstorms materialise it should inconvenience her less than her rivals and she won her recent trial at Goodwood like a fast improving three year old. She still has a bit to find on the book, but has taken a marked step forward with every run so far and a continuation of that trend here would put her bang in the mix.
Crystal Zvezda looks the biggest danger and if there is a superstar filly in the race then she could be it, but at the prices we prefer Jack Naylor and Lady Of Dubai, and you can always back the Stoute horse to cover your bets on our main selections.
|Jack Naylor (ew)||4.30 Epsom||7/1||Bet365|
|Lady Of Dubai (ew)||4.30 Epsom||8/1||Bet365|
Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap
As you’d expect, there is plenty of quality on the undercard at Epsom and in the first big handicap of the two day meeting, the Investec Wealth & Investment Stakes, we like SEAGULL STAR for the in form William Haggas.
This horse was mixing it at Group level last season and is clearly held in high regard at home. That being the case, he is surely well handicapped and must win a race off this mark soon. The only doubt today being whether this will ultimately prove to be his best trip as he may stay further.
Mark Johnston trains a number of potential dangers and it is hard to separate the claims of MASTER OF FINANCE and Fire Fighting, in particular, but the former gets the nod as he ran really well in a very competitive heat last time out and his run style should suit Epsom. He also won’t mind any last minute downpours.
|Seagull Star (ew)||2.35 Epsom||7/1||Bet365|
|Master Of Finance (ew)||2.35 Epsom||9/1||BetVictor|
The other big handicap is over an extended mile at 3.45. The trip will represent a step up in distance for bottom weight OBSIDIAN, who ran well over 7f on his last start. He’s an unexposed, potential improver, who looks the value at odds of 16/1.
At a monster price, FORCEFUL APPEAL should also be backed.
His trainer, Simon Dow, has his yard ride next to the circuit and he loves nothing more than having success here. He is a man in form too, having had two winners from his last four runners.
This horse would relish a drop of rain and is well treated if he can convert the best of his all weather form to the turf. He was 7th of 17 in this race 3 years ago off of a 5lb higher mark, only beaten just over 6l.
|Obsidian (ew)||3.45 Epsom||16/1||Bet365, Ladbrokes|
|Forceful Appeal (ew)||3.45 Epsom||33/1||Bet365, William Hill|