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The Oaks – Our Runner-By-Runner Guide & Verdict

Nashwa

We have the final 11 declarations for the Oaks on Friday. Below is our rundown of every single runner in the Epsom fillies’ Classic, alongside Bet365‘s new customer offer of Bet £10, Get £50 In Free Bets.


Concert Hall (Aidan O’Brien, Seamie Heffernan) 7/1

Out of an Oaks-winning dam in Was, who won this Classic for Ballydoyle in 2011. Has won three of her eight starts, including the Group 3 Weld Park Stakes as a two-year-old. Unable to land a blow at a higher level, as she was sixth in the Fillies Mile, though may have progressed slightly this term. Battled well to win the Listed Salsabil Stakes upped to 1m2f on reappearance and finished very strongly for third in the Irish 1000 Guineas. That may give a false impression of her stamina though, as no progeny of Dubawi have ever won an Epsom Classic. Possibly needs a little more on form regardless.

Emily Upjohn (John & Thady Gosden, Frankie Dettori) Evs

Giant Sea The Stars filly who is unbeaten in three starts and has the world at her hooves. Pulverised her opposition in a Sandown novice to open this season before kicking clear in destructive fashion in the Musidora Stakes at York over 1m2½f. Gives every impression that further could suit her even more, so very few stamina doubts. Difficult to quantify the form of that trial, but certainly a fear that it may not have been the strongest. Novice victory has generally worked out decently though and she is an obvious candidate.


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Kawida (Ed Walker, Jim Crowley) 66/1

Consistent daughter of 2006 Derby winner Sir Percy, who is yet to be out of the first three in five starts. Listed winner of the Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket at end of last season and returned in France when third in a Saint-Cloud Group 3 over 1m2½f. Every chance she will appreciate more of a stamina test here and winner of that French contest was a runner-up in Group 1 company next time out. Massive price could be tempting in four-place each-way markets, but big improvement is certainly necessary on her bare form.

Moon De Vega (Ralph Beckett, Rossa Ryan) 33/1

Took her time to get going, with a pair of fifth-placed efforts preceding her first victory at Doncaster. That win came on soft ground, as did her fourth behind Thoughts Of June in the Cheshire Oaks. However, she was badly hampered that day and shaped as though she could have finished a few lengths closer. Form of that race was given a boost when runner-up won French Group 1 recently. Would still need to show more here and needs some “soft” to remain in the going description. Not exactly bred for this job either.


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Nashwa (John & Thady Gosden, Hollie Doyle) 9/2

Little to note about debut as a two-year-old, but has looked very stylish so far at three. Won by a wide margin at Haydock on her reappearance and the third has been placed in Listed company since. Followed up by winning a Listed Newbury trial for this with Hollie Doyle only asking for the bare minimum. Frankel has now sired a winner of both Epsom Classics, so she cannot be discounted on that factor while connections confident that she will stay 1m4f. Possible this more compact filly will be better suited to the track than her stablemate.

Rogue Millennium (Tom Clover, Jack Mitchell) 16/1

Supplementary entry who earned her right in this field with two wins from two races so far. Latest starter in this lineup, as she only made her debut in April. Followed up that Wetherby novice success with a narrow victory in the Lingfield Oaks Trial at the start of May. Runner-up had only scraped home in a handicap off a mark of 84 the time before and the odds-on favourite disappointed, so difficult to be confident of the form. Least convincing of the trial winners.


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The Algarve (Aidan O’Brien, Colin Keane) 100/1

One win and three elsewheres make up this daughter of American Pharaoh’s formbook. Win came in a heavy ground Galway maiden, but had been comfortably beaten the first twice on sounder surfaces. A full sister to the yard’s Van Gogh, that horse did not improve greatly between two and three, so fears this filly may not be cut for the top already. Only fourth to Emily Upjohn at Chester and even torrential downpours may not help her cause enough.

Thoughts Of June (Aidan O’Brien, Wayne Lordan) 20/1

The first of the Galileos, which automatically makes her of more interest at Epsom. Had been winless in maiden company before stepping up from the front in the Cheshire Oaks. Inspired ride by Ryan Moore may have got her home from Above The Curve, who won the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary in France recently. Nevertheless, she demonstrated she had the stamina for this contest that day. May want it softer and doubts that she will be quite good enough, but may be on the upgrade and could be underestimated.


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Tranquil Lady (Joseph O’Brien, Tom Marquand) 14/1

Joseph O’Brien’s sole entrant has had a productive career to date. Easy winner of a Galway maiden last time before runner-up in Curragh Listed contest on final start at two. Only fourth to Concert Hall at Navan on return, but left that form behind when galloping on strongly at Naas in the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes. Won that quite takingly, with field spreadeagled behind. That win also came on similar surface to that projected at Epsom and should appreciate a greater distance being by Australia. Worthy chance.

Tuesday (Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore) 8/1

Full sister to 1000 Guineas and Oaks heroine Minding, so she’s probably the most regally bred of these. Shortened massively for this year’s Newmarket Guineas when winning at Naas in March. Finished third to Cachet, before being runner-up to Homeless Songs in the Irish equivalent. May well be that she improves for stepping up in trip for all that most of her siblings preferred it at 1m and has been kept very busy. Distinctly possible that she is stable’s number one, but may be booked for a place once again.


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With The Moonlight (Charlie Appleby, William Buick) 10/1

Only Godolphin representative in the field. Ran four times at two, winning half of those, but being gazumped in Listed company by Kawida over 1m. Reason for her significantly shorter price compared to that rival is that, according to RPRs, she stepped forward over a stone when landing Newmarket’s Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at the beginning of May. That came over 1m2f and Godolphin won last year’s Derby with a Frankel baby. Kept going smartly that day and has to be on any shortlist.

Verdict

Emily Upjohn may turn this into a procession, but she may not prove ideal for Epsom given her size and the Musidora form is not as compelling as the visual impression she left. The trials won by Tranquil Lady and With The Moonlight would not be miles below that standard, while stablemate NASHWA was just as silky smooth in victory at Newbury. She looked to possess significant class that day and her compactness compared to Emily Upjohn may be of great benefit at Epsom. There is more to come from her. Tuesday is another who has to be considered given her immaculate pedigree.


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