It’s a John and Thady Gosden filly that gets the nod for Sky Sports Racing senior analyst Jamie Lynch in Friday’s Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.
It’s a less proven and more projecting form that suggests this could be an above average Oaks, as there are several with stars in their eyes, in addition to all the trial winners relevant.
The winner will be the one who improves the most, and there are many likely girls in this regard.
1. CONCERT HALL
Coach: Aidan O’Brien; Jockey: Seamie Heffernan
Only half a length behind her more whimsical teammate on Tuesday when the pair took the podium in the Irish 1000 Guineas. This trip was probably more of a home date for Tuesday, as Concert Hall had already gained more than 1,000 meters when it reappeared in a Listed race that worked well. One of the few owned by Ballydoyle by Dubawi, but her mother (Was) won the Oaks for Aidan O’Brien in 2012.
2. EMILY UPJOHN
John and Thady Gosden; Frankie Dettori
Unbeaten so far, her motto is more style than substance, but winning three races – including the Musidora – by a cumulative total of 15 and a quarter lengths is the pinnacle of style.
Whatever the collective vulnerability of her victims so far, her stay in York holds up well enough against Desert Crown’s Dante the next day on drier ground, and it’s abundantly clear that she’s an elegant filly, ready for the Oaks.
She is also bred to savor the distance, by Sea The Stars and from the family of Hazarista who were placed in the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks. The crucial question for her is the track because it is very different from what she has faced so far. A challenge for a filly as tall and as passionate as she is.
Ed Walker; Jim Crowley
Had With The Moonlight behind her by winning a Listed at Newmarket last October, and picked up where she left off after being beaten less than a length in a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud on her comeback. It’s still a far cry from Classic level, on a line through Place Du Carrousel, and a race like the Oaks is likely to be beyond its means, for ability if not endurance (by Sir Percy) .
4. MOON OF VEGA
Ralph Beckett; Rossa Ryan
Interesting in itself that it still comes that way, despite losing on a tryout, for a coach who won the Oaks with long shots in 2008 and 2013. On top of that, Chester (fourth in Thoughts Of June ) was not a fair reflection of her as she was badly hampered at the critical stage of the Cheshire Oaks, and, after a lean period, Ralph Beckett’s side seem to have turned a corner last weekend.
There are positives to joining with her, sure, but it’s still a leap of faith to support her in an Oaks.
John and Thady Gosden; Hollie Doyle
His races this year have been somewhat in the shadow of his stablemate, coming 24 hours and 72 hours respectively after Emily Upjohn wowed the crowds, and without that we could all be delighted with Nashwa, whose successes have been striking to say the least. .
Rather than the sum of her parts, there is one part in particular that sets her apart as a Group One filly, her thrust into the hottest part of the race, almost needing to be seen to be believed at Newbury where she went from last to first in record time, practically on the bridle.
There’s clearly a lot of Frankel in her which will help on the long journey from Epsom and she’s just as exciting as Emily Upjohn.
6. ROGUE MILLENNIUM
Tom Clover; Jack Mitchell
Bought from Shadwell’s scatter, it cost 35,000 guineas to buy and almost as much to complete it in the Oaks, but there’s good reason for that, having landed the trial at Lingfield just two weeks after its successful debut.
By Dubawi of a Cumberland Lodge winner, she’s come a long way in a short time and it’s unclear how far she can eventually go, but neither Lingfield’s form nor weather suggests she’s all set. made ready for a review like the Oaks.
7. THE ALGARVE
Aidan O’Brien; Colin Kean
Below the official numbers, also in the jetwash of Emily Upjohn in the Musidora, and these two facts underline that she has a mountain to climb in this business. It’s possible she’ll act as a pacer for Ballydoyle’s classier contingent.
8. THOUGHTS OF JUNE
Aidan O’Brien; Wayne Lordan
To overstate the fine lead race is to underestimate the improvement that allowed Thoughts Of June to turn the tide with Above The Curve in the Cheshire Oaks, a form evidently bolstered by Group Un Prix Saint-Alary on Sunday. It’s easy to think from the way she glided around Chester that her direct style and stamina will take her far at Epsom, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t a few faster than her at the arrival.
9. QUIET LADY
Joseph O’Brien; Tom Marquand
Above The Curve probably would have been at single-digit odds for the Oaks had it headed that direction rather than (successfully) headed for the Prix Saint-Alary, so that says something Joseph O’Brien is happy to instead send Tranquil Lady in bat to Epsom.
Behind the Concert Hall on her reappearance but showed her truest colors in the Blue Wind, winning the way she liked by four lengths, although the Oaks were a notable step up (for class not just for travel ) in relation to his task at Naas.
Aidan O’Brien; Seamie Heffernan
Sister to the Oaks Minding winner, and caring for her was the priority as a juvenile when she only raced once (run by Discoveries). On the other hand, she was given an intensive program this season, but she ranked there, placed in the 1000 Guineas and the Irish equivalent (second only to Homeless Queen), which I’m not sure what anything else in this area could have done.
For most years, a horse like Tuesday — with his profile, pedigree and persona — would be the Oaks’ favorite, especially since this trip could transform her.
11. IN THE MOONLIGHT
Charlie Appleby; William Buick
The “I was at ‘X’ that day” phenomenon is an unnecessary flourish among pundits to add some false gravity to their otherwise hollow opinion. Anyway, I was in Newmarket on 1000 Guineas Day, more interested in Grenelle for pretty Polly, that was until With The Moonlight made its way into the paddock. To say she looks the part is an understatement, also explaining how and why she looked a different proposition in Newmarket, compared to last year.
That shape might be a little shaky, but it made her Godolphin’s chosen one for the Oaks, and she gallops like the extra distance would be a help rather than a hindrance, much more her father’s daughter (Frankel) than that of his mother in the sprint.
A number of them could be much better than they’ve been able to express so far, with Emily Upjohn leading the way, although there’s a premium on her price depending on the margins she has won, and it’s no exaggeration to say that NASHWA could and would have won the same two races had she and her stablemate swapped campaigns this year.
Nashwa is yet to win her (lower) races, but the turn of foot she has shown in the process is striking to say the least, and it’s a significant statement that she is targeting Epsom after the French Oaks seemed be the original plan. .