With June just around the corner, that means one thing for horse racing fans – Epsom.
The first weekend of the month will see the Derby and Oaks taking place, two of the most historic races on the flat racing calendar, and the third and fourth Classic’s of the season
And we’re focusing on the fillies in this article – taking a look at the current ante-post favourites for the Oaks, due to run on Friday, June 3.
Emily Upjohn exploded to the head of the ante post betting market for the Oaks following a blistering display in the Musidora Stakes at York earlier this month.
Sent off the 4/7 favourite for one of the key trials for the race, the daughter of Sea The Stars improved the further she went in the race, highlighting that the trip in the Oaks will hold no fear.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained filly eventually ran out winner by five and a half lengths, and a repeat of her York performance will see her very hard to beat at Epsom.
And following that York success, she was cut to 5/4 favourite for the Oaks.
Tuesday ran 3rd in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, and all the signs from that performance indicate the step up in trip in the Oaks will be ideal.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Tuesday is bred to stay a mile-and-a-half and was making just her third career start at Newmarket, so there should be plenty of improvement to come.
She struggled to quicken at a crucial stage in the Guineas, but Epsom will be far more to her liking, and it would be no shock to see her staying on up the straight once others have cried enough.
O’Brien has trained the winner of six of the last eight renewals of the Oaks, and Tuesday looks his best chance currently of adding to that impressive tally.
Nashwa has won both her starts this season, including recently landing the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury.
That victory has convinced her owner Imad Al Sagar and trainers John & Thady Gosden to aim for Classic glory with this daughter of Frankel.
Set to be ridden by Hollie Doyle, who is seeking her first Classic success, it would be a massive moment if Nashwa could provide the Group One-winning jockey with her most significant win to date on Oaks day.
With The Moonlight
Charlie Appleby has enjoyed considerable success in recent season with his colts, but he’s struggled for a top-class filly to go alongside the boys.
With The Moonlight could well be the horse he has been waiting for, and she booked her place at the head of the ante post market for the Oaks following an impressive success in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.
Being out of the legendary Frankel, she’s bred for stamina, and if she can take to Epsom’s undulations, she should run a big race come Oaks day.
Concert Hall was kept busy as a two-year-old by trainer Aidan O’Brien, and she kicked off this season with victory in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan at the end of April.
She showed an excellent attitude at Navan, digging deep to hold off Magical Lagoon in a driving finish.
Back in 4th that day was Tranquil Lady, who has since franked the form by winning a Group 3 contest at Naas earlier this month.
O’Brien confirmed Concert Hall would head to Epsom for the Oaks following her Salsabil victory, and she looks excellent each-way value in the current betting.