A majestic and unique afternoon is in store at Epsom on Saturday as the course stages a double helping of Classic action. The racing reschedule means we can enjoy The Oaks and The Derby on the same afternoon!
Here’s our look ahead to the Fillies’ Classic on the Downs (3.40pm) and a reminder that you can watch all the action from Epsom via live streaming when logged into MansionBet.
A Two-Horse Race Trainer-wise
Trainers Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have made this race their own recently, taking the last six renewals between them (Gosden: 2014, 2017, 2019; O’Brien 2015, 2016, 2018) with stars like Minding and Enable amongst their winners.
Their vice-like grip on The Oaks looks likely to remain in place as they have the market-leading duo of Love (O’Brien) and Frankly Darling (Gosden) and, including the Ribblesdale runner-up Ennistymon for the Ballydoyle trainer; it’s
14/1* bar the trio in the betting.
Can anything stop the leading duo? It seems unlikely as the front two in the market come into this race on the back of outstanding performances last month. More probable is a real set-to from that pair in the race itself. Let’s look at their credentials.
Love a Worthy Favourite
LOVE headlines a three-strong assault from Ballydoyle as O’Brien bids to win The Oaks for an eighth time.
The daughter of Galileo enjoyed a busy time of it at two, racing seven times and picking up three wins; the highlight being the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September. She would only manage third in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on her final start as Quadrilateral won.
Roger Charlton’s filly had no answer back on the Rowley Mile last month as Ryan Moore and Love powered to a four-and-a-half-length win in the 1,000 Guineas.
The manner in which she saw out the race strongly suggests she’ll relish this step up in trip; as does her pedigree, and she is the
11/10 favourite to emulate stablemate Minding in completing this Classic double.
Darling the Biggest Danger
The main barrier to her chances on paper is
13/8 chance FRANKLY DARLING, who attempts to give Gosden and Frankie Dettori their third Oaks win in four years.
The Frankel filly races in the colours of owner/breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, who will hope to complete the Epsom double having won The Derby with Golden Horn five years ago.
She raced only once at two, finishing second in a heavy-ground novice at Yarmouth, but announced herself with an easy win on the all-weather at Newcastle on racing’s resumption last month.
Just over a fortnight later she justified favouritism at Royal Ascot in the Ribblesdale, dominating the final two furlongs as she tackled this trip for the first time and readily holding off Ennistymon to sample Group 2 success.
It was impressive but, like Dettori’s mount, Ennistymon was only a maiden winner going into Ascot and this represents a sterner test of both their credentials. Love has danced at the big dances and her experience will count for plenty.
So authoritative for her Guineas victory last month, coupled with Ryan Moore’s praise of the filly, she arguably should be odds-on for this race and she’s the one to beat.
Passion can Bear Fruit
For an each-way play in the race, it’s worth giving some thought to another O’Brien hopeful in
18/1 chance PASSION, third in the aforementioned Ribblesdale.
A sister to the St Leger winner Capri, there should be further improvement in her at this trip and, also worth noting, she was the choice of Ryan Moore at Ascot over stablemate Ennistymon and is more than double the price going into Epsom. She could sneak some place money.