The third British classic of the flat season comes under orders at Epsom on Friday when Andrew Lloyd-Webber hopes his filly The Fugue has the composition to win the Investec Oaks.
The Fugue showed she possessed talent with a fine intro when a convincing winner of her maiden at Newmarket last October. But, she missed her cue when running fourth on her seasonal debut in the 1000 Guineas, 11 lengths behind the winner Homecoming Queen.
The progeny of Sadlers Wells classical line, she passed her Oaks audition with an easy win in the Musidora Stakes at York where she had the highly rated Twirl four-and-a-half lengths back in second and third placed Esentepe a further three-and-a-half lengths away. The filly clocked a good time that day, jockey William Buick kept plenty in the tank and her pedigree suggests the mile-and-a-half trip will suit her more than the ten furlongs of the Musidora.
The John Gosden-trained filly is generally available at 3/1 and looks a good tip to provide a rousing finale in the Oaks on Friday.
The one the bookmakers fear in Aidan O’Brien’s Maybe who has come in for steady support and is now best priced at 11/4 with bodog. The daughter of Galileo disappointed when beaten favourite in the 1000 Guineas to suffer her first defeat in six outings, Maybe finished third beaten 10 lengths by the winner.
O’Brien holds six of the 14 Oaks entries, Twirl gets her chance to turn the tables on The Fugue and another interesting entry is unbeaten Kissed. Another Galileo fledgling, she has won both of her previous outings on soft ground in Ireland and could be anything. Jockey arrangements are unconfirmed and may tell us more about how she is rated by her trainer, currently Kissed is available at 15/2 with sportingbet. Betterbetterbetter, Devotion and Was complete the Ballydoyle sextet.
William Haggas trains Vow, winner of Lingfield’s Oaks trial on the all weather. The daughter of Motivator received a number of glowing reports after landing the money but the clock watchers were not impressed by her sectional times. It was only her second appearance on the racecourse and she could be a much better proposition on the turf. Ladbrokes is offering 6/1 for Vow to fulfil her promise and retain her unbeaten record in the Oaks.
Godolphin will be represented by Kailani who won the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on 6 May with ease and is 9/1 with sportingbet.
The remainder of the 14-runner field is completed by Colima, Shirocco Star, Coquet, Nayarra and Toptempo.
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