The third Classic of the British flat season takes place at 4.30pm on Friday when the Investec Oaks is run at Epsom Downs, with Aidan O’Brien once again taking on the home trainers like John Gosden and William Haggas. O’Brien’s Pink Dogwood is the favourite for the fillies’ race, though the much-admired Mehdaayih has done nothing wrong this year and will vie for favouritism. Here is the lowdown on the 14 runners.
PINK DOGWOOD (Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Ryan Moore) 10-3: Form does not entirely convince and distance concerns obvious first time out at the trip.
MEHDAAYIH (pirctured; T: John Gosden, J: Robert Havlin) 3-1: Proved credentials for this when winning Chester Vase at almost the same distance.
MAQSAD (T: William Haggas, J: Jim Crowley) 9-2: Behind Mehdaayih as a 2yo but two wins this season and hints at further improvement.
ANAPURNA (T: John Gosden, J: Frankie Dettori) 6-1: A couple of wins, the last in a Listed affair, hint at an improving sort, but whether the class is there for this task remains to be seen.
MANUELA DE VEGA (T: Ralph Beckett, J: Harry Bentley) 10-1: Done very little wrong in career to date, should find ground and trip no problem. Big each-way claims.
FRANKELLINA (T: William Haggas, J: James Doyle) 14-1: Should probably have won Musidora at York but for slow start, not without a chance.
LAVENDER’S BLUE (T: Amanda Perrett, J: Silvestre De Sousa) 18-1: Daughter of Sea The Stars has never tried this trip before but should be ok, might just be a bit lacking for this prize.
TARNAWA (T: Dermot Weld, J: Chris Hayes) 25-1: Been close enough to the favourite and dual Guineas winner Hermosa in her career to give her a sniff.
FLEETING (T: Aidan O’Brien, J: Wayne Lordan) 33-1: Well behind the pace in the English Guineas and looks the right price.
PEACH TREE (T: Aidan O’Brien, J: Donnacha O’Brien) 33-1: Very up and down in career to date but on a form line through Tarnawa could not be entirely ignored; first time at the trip.
DELPHINIA (T: Aidan O’Brien, J: Seamie Heffernan) 50-1: Most recent run (third ina Group 3 at Naas) was probably personal best. Step up in trip may suit.
TAUTEKE (T: Roger Varian, J: Andrea Atzeni) 50-1: Well held by Anapurna in seasonal bow and no reason to think form will change.
BLUE GARDENIA (T: David O’Meara, J: Jamie Spencer) 100-1: Decent run in the Musidora but not enough to be in the frame here.
SH BOOM (T: Peter Chapple-Hyam, J: Tom Queally) 100-1: Another filly who is fairly priced on form.