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Oaks outsider worth having

Frank Monkhouse | 2 June 2017

Our views on Friday’s card at Epsom

It’s one of the top weekends in the British horse racing calendar, as Epsom’s Derby meeting gets underway with a glittering line-up on Friday. Highlight of the afternoon, and a real aperitif for the main dish, goes in the form of the 2017 Investec Oaks, due to post at 4.30pm.

Coral traders have Rhododendron marked as a convincing favourite at the time of writing, currently odds-on. Will we see an upset at a price? We give our views on that top of the bill tussle on The Downs, and you’ll find our usual race-by-race selections listed too, aimed at aiding your multiples.

Favourite far from bulletproof

Starting with the race favourite, and there really was no major shock amongst eagle-eyed punters to see Rhododendron chalked up as antepost favourite. On talent alone, she’s the standout of a 10-runner field, and the current price of 4/5 proves our traders want to keep her firmly onside. Ryan Moore takes the ride for Aidan O’Brien – a partnership that always draws blind support – but the three-year-old is far from bulletproof, as backers found out last time.

A six-race CV reads three wins, two seconds and a third, last seen following Winter home in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last month. Beaten by two lengths into second by her stablemate that day, despite going off at short-odds, she didn’t get the clearest of runs, which may go as a bit of an excuse, but when pushing for the line, she was never getting near an impressive winner.

That’s horse racing, a game of chance, when all’s said and done. Therefore, we cast our eye down the pecking order in an attempt to pick out something at chunkier odds. If Rhododendron is going to win The Oaks, we’ll let her go and do it. Instead we’ll have an interest play on Alluringly.

Alluringly can cause an upset

Another from the Aidan O’Brien conveyor belt, big things are expected of this promising three-year-old. With only four previous runs to her name, she’s not the most experienced in the field, but is amongst the most progressive, and we’re expecting to see her come on again here. After an uninspiring start, the selection finally broke her maiden when winning at Tipperary back in April, and was last seen runner-up in the Cheshire Oaks.

Starting as race favourite, she was narrowly edged out by Enable on the day, but the SP of even money proves just how well respected Alluringly is at this stage of her career, and that shouldn’t be ignored. O’Brien arrives in fine form over the last week, which is no surprise, and has Seamie Heffernan in the saddle. Those eager to have an interest will get a chunky 14/1 at Coral.

Epsom selections

2.00 – Cardsharp

2.35 – Remarkable

3.10 – Idaho

3.45 – Brorocco

4.30 – Alluringly

5.15 – Sutter County

5.50 – Aardwolf

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