Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 12:19 04/06/2015
Champion jockey Richard Hughes has come in for a great spare ride aboard our 8-1 ante-post tip Crystal Zvezda in Friday's Investec Oaks with regular pilot Ryan Moore electing to remain true to his Qipco 1000 Guineas-winning mount Legatissimo for trainer David Watchman in preference to Sir Michael Stoute's filly, but with both horses disputing favouritism for the mile and a half Classic the go-to rider must have undergone several sleepless nights before making his final choice.
As well as Crystal Zvezda Hughes has a number of strong fancies on the seven-race card including Shifting Power in the supporting Group 3 Investec Diomed Stakes at 3.10, but at the 8-1 available with most bookmakers it is his mount Nancy From Nairobi in the Investec Wealth & Investment Stakes ( Handicap ) at 2.35 which makes plenty of appeal to take the valuable 1m 2f contest for trainer Mick Channon.
The four-year-old filly was highly tried at three taking in races such as York's Musidora as well as the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and only managed to break her duck when droped in class to land a Windsor maiden last August. Although making no show in her final two starts last season the daughter of Sixties Icon found only the progressive Mahsoob too good off level weights in a Newbury handicap on her seasonal reappearance, and with that horse following up at York and now racing off a mark of 106 the 11lb lower rating of Nance From Nairobi looks on the lenient side.
On her most recent start the selection finished second once again, this time beaten a half length by Burano at Lingfield when failing to settle for Sam Hitchcott in the early stages. Providing Hughes can prevent his mount from pulling too hard at Epsom the pair should take plenty of beating, with the impressive Zetland Gold Cup winner Fire Fighting likely to provide the stiffest opposition.
1pt each-way - Nancy From Nairobi 8-1 Generally