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  1. #11
    Forced Kin
    O'Brien seems closer to finalising his team for the Investec Oaks.

    "Maybe would be the first one to mention for the Oaks - we were very happy with her run in the Guineas when the ground was a bit on the slow side. Obviously, she is by Galileo and she has a very fast pedigree so a mile and a half is unknown until we do it," he added.

    "Kissed would be the next one. We were very happy with her first run of the year at Navan and she won very nicely. Betterbetterbetter ran a good race at Chester and Joseph said if he was ride her again he might delay her challenge. Was had her first run back at Naas but I am not sure she will be ready in time. Twirl returned at York and would like to step up to a mile and a half. The Oaks is an incredibly important race for the pedigree."

  2. #12
    Timeform Flat editor David Johnson answers our Investec Oaks questions from sportinglife....

    Did The Fugue do enough in winning the Musidora at York to suggest she's an Oaks filly?

    David Johnson: Yes. We've liked The Fugue from the beginning, she had the large P as a two-year-old and we suggested Classic trials would be on the agenda at three. The fact she ran as well as she did first time out in the 1000 Guineas was very significant and she then took her form to another level when winning at York.

    Some people were trying to pick holes in the form but Twirl was a well-backed favourite and beaten four-and-a-half lengths. It was then a further three-and-a-half back to Esentepe in third. We have a time figure of 115 for that performance, just a couple of pounds less than the form figure and the fact William Buick was holding onto her suggests she would have won by further had he wanted to.

    On pedigree a mile-and-a-half should suit her even more and all of us at Timeform are strongly behind The Fugue.

    What do you make of the team Aidan O'Brien is going to field against her?

    DJ I was disapponted with what Maybe did in the 1000 Guineas. She was relatively close-up behind her stablemate who cut out the running and you thought it was just a matter of time before she started to pick Homecoming Queen up but the challenge never came.

    The form she's already shown is of a pretty high standard and possibly good enough to pick up a place in an average Oaks but I have concerns over whether she's going to be effective at the trip.

    The likes of Dancing Rain and Dr Devious are in her pedigree but there's speed influences on the dam's side too and you look at how she goes through her races, she's a strong traveller, so stepping up to half-a mile is a concern for me.

    Anything else you see in the shake-up?

    DJ Not really. I'm very keen on The Fugue and feel she should be clear favourite. With regards to the O'Brien horses Kissed looks good on paper but it's almost a negative to her chances that Maybe has been as strong as she has.

    A few people in the office are keen on Vow and gave her a good write-up after Lingfield but I was disappointed with the time of that race in comparison to the Derby Trial.

    You can't expect them to pull a long way clear off a slow gallop but we do a lot of sectional timing for the all-weather races and the last two furlongs, given how much slower it had been compared to the Derby trial to that point, should have been even quicker. I'm not quite as keen on Vow as the market is.

  3. #13
    Aidan O'Brien has declared six fillies for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday - but Kissed only runs if the ground eases.

    The trainer's wife Anne-Marie confirmed the plan on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

    All 14 six-day entries stood their ground at the final declaration stage with Maybe, Betterbetterbetter, Devotion, Twirl and Was completing the O'Brien party. As yet no jockey bookings are available.

    Musidora winner The Fugue leads the home defence along with Lingfield Trial heroine Vow while Mickael Barzalona, as expected, rides Kailani for Godolphin.

    Hughie Morrison is double handed with Coquet (Robert Havlin) and Shirocco Star (Darryll Holland) and Colima, Nayarra and Toptempo complete the field.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Sprinter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Cant see a downside to backing Kissed now decs are out ... Ryan Moore is sweet on her

    Ryan Moore believes that Kissed can win the Investec Oaks if she takes her chance.

    The top jockey told his exclusive Betfair column at that he was delighted to be riding the unbeaten filly despite the likelihood that she could be declared a non-runner.

    The close relative of last year's Derby hero Pour Moi has a high-knee action which has placed her participation in doubt unless Aidan O'Brien and his team decide that conditions are suitable.

    Moore has long been of the opinion that the Galileo filly has the ideal profile for the race: "I think Kissed is tailor-made for the race. She was my idea of the Oaks winner at the start of the season.

    "What wasn't there to like about her reappearance win? I think she is a high class filly. Being drawn 14 of 14 isn't ideal though; I would prefer to be drawn in the middle. But it's my job to solve that problem. I just hope that I get the chance.

    "If she gets the go ahead, I genuinely believe that Kissed could be the one they all have to beat" he added.

  5. #15
    Forced Kin
    6:05 Investec Oaks

    A late decision will be made on the participation of the unbeaten Kissed but Ballydoyle will still have at least five runners in the second fillies' classic having largely dominated proceedings so far at the highest level in England and Ireland. Joseph O'Brien partners Qipco 1000 Guineas third Maybe, who is from the same family as Oaks winner Dancing Rain, and she's probably the stable selection with Twirl proving no match for The Fugue, behind Maybe at Newmarket, in the Musidora at York. Godolphin's horses are starting to blossom so Kailani is certainly worth a second look after bounding clear in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket on her reappearance, while Hughie Morrison's Goodwood winner Coquet is progressing at a rate of knots and has the beating of Nayarra. The yard also run Newbury runner-up Shirocco Star but she appears to have plenty to find on the form book. Detractors were lining up to play down VOW's classic hopes after she beat Colima in a slowly-run Oaks Trial on the Polytrack at Lingfield but Willie Haggas' filly showed a terrific turn of foot that day and won easily, despite drifting right across the track up the home straight. That was purely a lack of experience and, as she has a decent middle-distance pedigree and is from a family that improve with age, she could be the value today.

  6. #16
    Is Shirocco Star just jockey bookings or is it a tipping line gamble ?

  7. #17

    Investec Oaks(Group 1) (1) 1m4f 10yds
    Guaranteed prize money: £350,000
    Declared runners: 14

    Turf, Good (Good To Firm in places)
    Timeform 1-2-3

    The Fugue *****
    Vow ****
    Kissed (IRE) ****

    The Fugue's career to date has been pretty much textbook so far as preparing for the Oaks goes, with a good Guineas showing followed by an impressive victory in a leading trial, and she looks the likeliest winner. Vow and Kissed are also respected, while the up-and-coming Coquet shouldn't be dismissed.

  8. #18
    Steve Hughes in Maybe camp

    Epsom 4.05: MAYBE (7-2, Paddy Power)
    Aidan O’Brien has supplied plenty of ammunition in his bid to maintain his 100 per cent record in British classics this season, but Maybe looks the filly with classic potential and can get back to winning ways after suffering her first defeat in the English 1000 Guineas recently.

    She had a perfect five from five record last season and was winning over 7f as soon as Royal Ascot, suggesting stamina is no issue. She went on to land the Group 1 Moyglare Stud stakes on her final start as a juvenile and went off a warm favourite to maintain her unbeaten record at Newmarket last month. As it turned out, stablemate Homecoming Queen managed to steal the race from the front, but Maybe kept on nicely to finish third, and this extra 4f will surely be to her liking.

    Having won on all types of ground, she looks adaptable, and has had more racing experience than most of her rivals which should stand her in good stead when it comes to tackling this unique trac

  9. #19
    Cathal Mullen goes for Devotion. 40/1 shot ? Richard Hughes thought he had no ride last weekend so would be a bit of a story. Not many wins but not out of it on ratings and should stay. Might chance a small bit ew.

    The Epsom Oaks takes centre stage on the Friday of the Diamond Jubilee weekend at Epsom Downs, writes Cathal Mullen. The field consists of 14 of the top middle distance fillies in Europe and as would be expected the market is dominated by Aiden O’Brien.

    The Ballydoyle maestro has a total of six runners in the race, headed by the Maybe, who is vying for favouritism with The Fugue of John Gosden. A champion juvenile filly in Ireland after an impressive win in the Moyglare Stakes, the daughter of Galileo was sent off favourite for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. On that occasion she finished 10 lengths in third behind her stable companion Homecoming Queen on good to soft ground.

    That performance left plenty to work on for O’Brien, which was backed up by him after the race when he said that “race fitness gave Homecoming Queen an edge over Maybe”. Maybe certainly is a worthy candidate for the Oaks on all previous performances, even though there may be stamina doubts. Yet I believe O’Brien has an outsider that could cause a stir just like at Newmarket, this time in Devotion.

    Devotion is the outsider of the stable’s string but has never raced over the trip she was bred for – being by Dylan Thomas out of a Sadler’s Wells mare she needs a middle distance trip. A modest maiden winner over seven furlongs on good to firm ground at Leopardstown last year, she certainly stepped up her game to come within a length of group success last time out in the Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial over a mile at Leopardstown behind the impressive Dermot Weld filly, Yellow Rosebud. Despite Weld’s filly disappointing last time out, Devotion must have a chance.

    On that day Devotion broke very badly and it was the only option for jockey Seamie Heffernan to switch her off behind the rest of the field. During the race she didn’t seem to settle with, but this changed coming into the home straight when Heffernan asked her to switch to the outside. She started to grind down some good fillies and only really got going right at the line.

    The step up in trip will suit greatly, she had to have learned a lot from that Leopardstown race and the ground at Epsom should suit. Her sire is producing stock that gets better as they race and seem hardy. It is likely she will be used as a pacemaker but her jockey on the day, Richard Hughes, should have a filly under him to grind out a classic success.

    Of the others set to go to post, Kailani won a 1m2f listed affair at Newmarket on 1000 Guineas day on good to soft. My worries for her are the lack of experience, as she has only raced twice and being by Monsun, meaning that a good to firm surface may not be to her liking. Still, being out of an Oaks winner herself in Kazzia she could give Mikael Barzalona classic success again.

    The Fugue, who is favourite for the race, ran out a worthy winner of the Musidora Stakes last time out. Her trainer John Gosden has expressed that there might be problem with the trip if it rains, which is unlikely now, but it looks like she has won a weak classic trial on paper which is why she is one to take on in the betting.

    Last year’s winning trainer William Haggas sends out Vow in the colours of her Derby winning sire Motivator. An impressive winner of a classic trial at Lingfield, albeit on the all-weather, she deserves respect, but the time was quite a bit slower than the Derby trial on the same weekend.

    The mount of Ryan Moore, Kissed, has seen some support during the week, but her participation looks unlikely due to the ground, she had a very pleasing reappearance in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan and would have a serious chance if she starts, also being a half-sister to last year’s Derby winner Pour Moi makes her an interesting contender.

    Of the rest if Betterbetterbetter ran up to her pedigree it would suggest she would have a chance, while Coquet narrowly won a listed trial claimed in the past by an Oaks winner in Snow Fairy, but she has a lot to improve on to be competitive. The field is then made up of Colima, Nayarra, Shirocco Star, Toptempo, Twirl and Was. The race gets under way at 4.05 on BBC2

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Buicks ATR Blog


    It always amazes me how fast the Derby and Oaks come along. One minute youíre looking forward to the Craven meeting, the next Epsom has arrived.

    Weíll still have nearly two thirds of the season to play after this weekend - including Royal Ascot - but this is special.

    Iíll be having my third ride in the Investec Oaks and there is no doubt in my mind that THE FUGUE (4.05) represents by far the best chance Iíve had of winning the race.

    Thatís saying something because the two previous rides have ran really when, Gertrude Bell was fourth in 2010 and Izzi Top ran even better to finish third last year.

    But this time Iím going into the race with a lot of confidence because The Fugue has every box ticked.

    From the first time I sat on her I realised she had class, it was a matter of how much.

    I know some questioned me choosing her in preference to Starscope who finished second in the 1000 Guineas when The Fugee was fourth but I reckon people now understand why.

    That was her second-ever run and first of the season and she got a bad trip that day, getting struck into early on. It was a tribute to John Gosden and the Clarehaven team that she came back so well at York.

    The step up to ten furlongs in the Musidora played to her strengths and the Guineas had brought her on and she quickened to win like a class filly.

    Iíve said before - and itís worth repeating - I wasnít showboating that day when I was sitting still inside the final two furlongs.

    All I wanted to do was make sure she had the easiest time possible and that the York race would bring her further forward for the Oaks.

    Thatís certainly the case, because sheís delighted me in her well-being and attitude whenever Iíve been on her since when sheís just been ticking over.

    As for the trip, I havenít any serious concerns.

    Her sire, Dansili, can get horses at all distances from five to 12 furlongs and her dam, Twyla Tharp, was only just edged out of the Ribblesdale by a short head when it was run at York in 2005.

    Thereís no reason to think she wonít stay this distance and sheís a very agile filly so she should handle the track as well as anything else in the field.

    Although Iím confident I am also extremely well aware that this race is probably more competitive than the Derby.

    I have tremendous respect for Vow, who improved again to win the Lingfield Oaks Trial and this one, above all others, is certain to stay and is clearly improving massively.

    She looks sure to be ridden prominently so Iíll be keeping a very close watch on Johnny Murtagh.

    Aidan OíBrien is mob-handed with six of the 14 runners.

    Maybe is the one Iíd have most respect for because she finished three quarters of a length ahead of us in the Guineas but, as Iíve already said, my filly was struck into and improved considerably next time.

    It wouldnít concern me that Maybe hasnít had a run since and it doesnít surprise me in the least that Joseph OíBrien has decided to stick with her as thereís no reason to think she wonít be better at this longer trip.

    I canít weigh up the value of Kissedís win but she looks the pick of the other Ballydoyle runners.

    The rest of the home side arenít easy to split but I kept getting told how much Ralph Beckettís Colima has improved and Godolphinís Kailani was highly impressive winning the Pretty Polly, the race Ouija Board won before she took the Oaks.

    But for me, itís all about The Fugue.

    Iíve no complaints with my stall, two, which will allow me to slot in and get a position and the ground is likely to be on the fast side - exactly what she wants.

    I just donít know how good she is or her true potential. At 4.10 on Friday afternoon weíll have found out.

    I know one thing. I would not want to ride any other filly is the race, simple as that.

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