Epsom preview: Investec Oaks (16.30)
Crystal Zvezda looked something special when scoring on her seasonal reappearance and can provide trainer Sir Michael Stoute with a third success in the Investec Oaks (16.30).
The Newmarket handler has previously been successful in the Group 1 classic with Fair Salina (1978) and Unite (1987), and in Crystal Zvezda has a filly who put in a stunning performance when coming from last to first to first to land a Listed 1m 2f contest at Newbury.
After being restrained at the start by jockey Ryan Moore, Crystal Zvezda made stealthy headway two from home and after not getting the clearest of runs stormed clear to win going away by 3 1/2 lengths under hand riding.
It was a performance which oozed class, and Crystal Zvezda should have stacks for improvement in the locker given it was just her third career start.
The beautifully bred daughter of Shamardal did is also a half-sister to connections’ very smart 1m 4f performers Crystal Capella and Hillstar, so the extra two furlongs Crystal Zvezda now tackles should be ideal.
With Richard Hughes now taking over in the saddle, Crystal Zvevda looks to have plenty going for her in what is a cracking renewal of the Group 1 fillies’ classic.
Irish raider Legatissimo brings Group 1 winning form into the contest having landed the 1000 Guineas at Newamrket when last seen in action, and looks a massive danger in the hands of Ryan Moore.
The David Wachman trained filly produced a powerful run from off the pace to beat Lucida by 3/4 of a length in a race that was run at a strong gallop, and the daughter of Danehill Dancer is bred to be suited by middle distances.
Legatissimo also has a good strike rate having won three of her six starts, and looks to be improving with each outing.
Jack Naylor also looks a leading player for Ireland, judged on her eye-catching run when fourth in the Irish 1000 Guineas.
The daughter of Champs Elysees finished with a real rattle to be beaten just two lengths and is bred to stay.
Jessica Harrinton’s filly is also entitled to come on a bundle for the run, her first in 231 days, and beat Legastissimo by 3/4 of a length last season when they met in a Listed contest at the Curragh.
Another worthy of a mention is the Luca Cumani trained Lady Of Dubai, who looked potentially very smart when running out an impressive 3 1/4 length winner of a Listed contest at Goodwood.
The daughter of Dubawi travelled strongly throughout and showed a smart turn of foot to quickly put the race to bed, and with the prospect of plenty more to come looks a lively outsider for a yard that does particularly well with fillies.