Fallon to partner leading Oaks fancy Ihtimal
Kieren Fallon has been confirmed as the partner of Ihtimal in the Investec Oaks at Epsom, and Coral make the Godolphin owned filly 7/1 to land the spoils in the big race on Friday, June 6th, following the latest declaration stage.
The 49-year-old, who won the 2000 guineas on Night Of Thunder, is to take over from Silvestre De Sousa who has partnered Ihitmal to three of her four victories.
De Sousa was also in n the saddle when the daughter of Shamardal ran an excellent trial for the Oaks when finishing a 3/4 length third of 17 to Miss France in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
However, since then, De Sousa has had to share mounts from Saeed Bin Suroor’s stable with Fallon, who has also been preferred for the yard’s Investec Derby challenger True Story.
Fallon, who rode Ihtimal at work when she enjoyed a successful campaign in Dubai, has a tremendous record at Epsom.
Like the filly’s owners, he is bidding to win the Oaks for a fourth time having last been successful when partnering the Aidan O’Brien trained Alexandrova to victory in 2006.
Ihtimal is the current third favourite with Coral for the Investec Oaks after 24 fillies stood their ground at the latest declaration stage.
The John Gosden trained Taghrooda remains the firm’s 7/4 market leader.
The daughter of Sea The Stars jumped to the head of the betting with a stunning six-length victory over Jordan Princess in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on May 4th.
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, owner of Taghrooda, also has another leading contender in the Dermot Weld trained Tarfasha, who was the impressive winner of the Group Three Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.
Tarfasha is the current 6/1 joint-second favourite with Coral for the Oaks, a position she shares with overseas raider Shamkala.
Alain de Royer-Dupre’s filly is unbeaten in three starts, and was last seen out when recording a facile victory in a Group 3 contest at Saint-Cloud on May 14th.
The daughter of Pivotal looks an exceptional prospect, and has major claims of becoming the first French trained winner of the classic since Intrepidity in 1993.