Cheshire Oaks: Sariska’s half-sister The Lark each-way value on breeding
The Listed Cheshire Oaks – run for the Robert Sangster Memorial Cup – is due off at 2:15 on the first day of the Chester Cup meeting. The race has been taken by horses who went on to finish sixth, fourth and second in the Epsom Oaks in the last three years and Michael Bell’s The Lark, a half-sister to his double Oaks winner Sariska could be on a similar track and looks a knocking each way bet in the contest.
This year’s Cheshire Oaks looks to be all untapped potential this year with seven of the 11 runners having competed twice or less. If The Lark is anywhere as near as good as Sariska she can be expected to be hard to beat on the Roodee.
Sariska was a credit to Michael Bell’s Newmarket yard in her short career, with victories in both the English and Irish Oaks among her five wins. Before refusing to race on her final two starts she’d finished out of the places just once in nine runs.
The Lark is closely related to Sariska, sharing sire Pivotal and being by a dam – Gull Wing – who is the daughter of Sariska’s own mother Maycocks Bay. Gull Wing shares a very similar form record to Maycocks Bay with both mares recording victories over distances in excess of the 1m3f Cheshire Oaks trip.
On debut The Lark ran green in a Nottingham maiden before running on late to take fourth in eye-catching fashion. She improved on that next time out when landing a soft ground Doncaster Maiden over 1m.
A 3f step up in trip is of course a concern, but her breeding suggests that she’s every bit as likely to get the longer distance as her celebrated half sister.
Equally the form of Sir Michael Stoute’s yard – 10 winner from 27 runners in the last fortnight – may earmark Elik as a threat, but The Lark should be able to see her off if her Nottingham maiden debut is anything to go by with Michael Bell’s filly finished near two lengths in front of the former that day.
At an each-way price it’s more than worth the gamble that The Lark will be somewhere near as good as Sariska.