Epsom Oaks Preview
Secret Gesture put up a hugely impressive display when winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial by ten lengths. Qatar Racing, still celebrating last weekend’s Irish 1000 Guineas success of Just The Judge, have now purchased a half-share in Secret Gesture who will race in their colours.
She is joined in the line up by stable companion Talent, winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket. She was more workmanlike when winning her trial but has every chance of staying the trip as she is by New Approach out of a Peintre Celebre mare. Champion jockey Richard Hughes has stepped in for the spare ride with Jim Crowley riding the favourite.
Aidan O’Brien’s Moth was installed as ante-post favourite after finishing strongly to take third in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Her pedigree suggests that she will improve over this distance although there are some concerns over how she will handle the Epsom gradients.
Sir Michael Stoute was forced to withdraw his Derby hope Telescope through injury but could gain compensation here with his progressive filly Liber Nauticus. She ran very green on her debut last season but still managed to win at Goodwood and will have learned a lot from her victory in the Musidora Stakes at York.
The first and second in the Cheshire Oaks meet again here with Gertrude Versed set to take on Banoffee. Hughie Morrison has supplemented Banoffee after she enjoyed a dream run up the rail to snatch victory from John Gosden’s filly. She appeared to have plenty more to offer but will need to settle better than she did at Chester.
Aidan O’Brien also saddles Say who will need to improve considerably to trouble the market leaders whilst Michael Bell is doubly represented with Madame Defarge and The Lark. Both were beaten in their prep races but there were excuses for The Lark with the race being run at a crawl in the early stages. She is a half-sister to Oaks winner Sariska and could represent some each-way value at long odds. Roz and Miss You Too look to be out of their depth in what looks like a high class renewal.