Investec Oaks preview: Somehow set to shine in fillies’ Classic
David Metcalf | June 2, 2016
Somehow has some chance in Investec Oaks
Somehow has a progressive profile and looks decent value to land the Investec Oaks at Epsom (16.30).
The Aidan O’Brien trained filly shaped with plenty of promise when third on racecourse debut over 7f at Leopardstown back in October and duly came on a ton for that outing when making a winning return to action in a 1m 2f contest at the same venue back in April.
After travelling strongly the heels of the leaders, the three-year-old was produced to take up the running 1 1/2 furlongs from home going well before keeping on strongly to beat Shamreen by 1 3/4 lengths.
The runner-up has since come out and scored twice, and the front two pulled 4 1/2 lengths clear of the field to give the form a strong look.
It was a most taking performance, and one which suggested Somehow needed keeping firmly onside.
Lots to like about Cheshire Oaks success
That view was confirmed when Somehow took the step up into Listed company in her stride to land the Cheshire Oaks over 1m 4f at Chester.
After being held-up, Somehow still showed signs of greenness and had plenty to do as the leaders kicked for home at the two marker.
However, the penny then dropped and Somehow showed smart turn of foot when switched right to power home inside the final furlong and beat Moorside by 1/2 a length.
It was an effort which suggested Somehow had a huge engine and was still far from the finished article, and with the prospect of plenty more improvement to come and stamina not an issue the daughter of Fastnet Rock can provide O’Brien with his sixth winner of the Classic contest.
Minding prep not ideal
Somehow’s stable companion Minding was a brilliant winner of the English 1,000 Guineas and is a red-hot favourite to become the first filly since Kazzia in 2002 to complete the Guineas/Oaks double.
Although turned over when sent off long odds-on and beaten a head in the Irish 1,000 Guineas by Jet Setting, Minding had excuses as she banged her head badly leaving the stalls.
However, that is far from an ideal prep given that run was just 12 days ago and it remains to be seen if it has left a lasting effect physically and mentally.
Minding is also far from guaranteed to stay the 1m 4f trip as she is out of a mare that never raced beyond 1m, and at the odds-on offer there are enough reasons to take her on.
Skiffle a major player
Skiffle was supplemented for the race after winning the 1m 2f Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood and looks sure to make her presence felt.
The Godolphin-owned filly stayed on strongly to score by a length in the manner of a top class performer in the making and shaped as if she will appreciate the further step up in trip.
She is bidding to emulate Snow Fairy who completed the Height of Fashion Stakes/Oaks double six years ago.
Stamina test will suit Turret Rocks
Turret Rocks is another leading contender for Ireland and commands plenty of respect.
The Jim Bolger trained daughter of Fastnet Rock won the the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last season and was far from disgraced when sixth behind Minding at Newmarket.
Turret Rocks shaped as if needing the run over a 1m trip which was arguably too sharp, and is a stoutly bred sort who should come into her own over middle distances.
Architecture looking to build on Lingfield run
Architecture has been heavily backed in recent weeks and is bidding to provide trainer Hugo Palmer with a second British Classic following Galileo Gold’s 2,000 Guineas success last month.
The three-year-old has only had three starts, and ran a blinder when finishing a 3/4 length runner-up to Seventh Heaven in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield.
Palmer has compared her favourably with his brilliant filly Covert Love who landed last year’s Irish Oaks, and Architecture delighted big race jockey Frankie Dettori in a racecourse workout at the track last week.
Coral’s top tip: The lightly-raced and progressive Somehow is proven at the trip and looks worth a wager to land a fascinating Investec Oaks. Skuffle and Turret Rocks are feared most.