Friday 31st May 2019
Image: Jordan Yates
Author: Jordan Yates
Graphics: Logopit Plus
Ladies Day is the curtain raiser at Epsom for the Derby meeting with the Investec Oaks the feature for the fillies taking place at 4.30pm this Friday over a distance of a mile and four furlongs. The race is one of the most prestigious in the flat racing calendar and has a very elite back catalogue of winners, which most recently have included the likes of Enable and Minding. It’s another potential star that of John Gosden’s that heads affairs this time around and that comes in the form of recent Cheshire Oaks winner Mehdaayih. I was there that day at Chester when she won that particular contest and it really was an impressive performance which rightfully propelled her to the top of the market here, Robert Havlin has kept the ride here also which is quite interesting as Frankie will ride stablemate Anapurna. She was also impressive the last day when winning her respective Oaks Trial which came at Lingfield and consequently finds herself sitting prominently in the betting here at a general 7/1.
As you’d expect there’s several contenders representing the powerhouse that is Ballydoyle for Aidan O’Brien and these are headed by Pink Dogwood who’s currently battling out for favourtism and is the mount of Ryan Moore. She’s only had the one outing this term when winning a Listed event earlier last month but was progressive last term and finished fifth in Group 1 company on her final start on Arc Day at Longchamp. The rest of the O’Brien raiders are made up by Fleeting, Peach Tree and Delphinia who’s prices range from 40/1 to 66/1 respectively. There’s also another Irish contender in the line up which comes in the form of Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa, she won a Group 3 affair on her latest start and finds herself as a general 40/1 chance here under Chris Hayes. William Haggas has two strong challengers in this year’s renewal the first of these being Maqsad, she’s won her last two starts which both came at Newmarket and the latter of these was visually very impressive, she’s the mount of Jim Crowley and is a general 7/1 chance. The second of the Haggas contenders is the Anthony Oppenheimer owned Frankellina, sporting those famous Golden Horn & Cracksman colours she was possibly the eye catcher of the Dante Meeting at York when very slowly away but finished strongly to dead heat for second. She’s the mount of James Doyle and can be found trading at a best priced of 16/1. A couple of other smart contenders for the home challenge look to be Manuela De Vega of Ralph Beckett and Lavender’s Blue for Amanda Perrett who’s the mount of Silvestre De Sousa. Harry Bentley will ride the former.
This year’s renewal of the Oaks is a competitive one as well as a strong one with many coming into the race with a strong chance. Pink Dogwood will likely come on a lot for that reappearance win and will put on a bold showing here for her powerhouse connections. I’ve got to side with MEHDAAYIH though on the back of her effort at Chester earlier this month, she dismantled a smart enough field that day and gave the impression there is a lot more to come from her. As an each way alternative I’ve chanced the horse that was second at Chester that day behind the Gosden charge and that’s MANUELA DE VEGA, she’s a very smart sort herself and ran a solid race last time in defeat after not getting the clearest of runs when turning for home. I think there’s a lot more to come from her also and she could well outrun her rather sizeable odds here.
WIN: MEHDAAYIH (3/1)
EACH WAY: MANUELA DE VEGA (14/1)
OH PURPLE REIGN (11/2) (E/W)
FIRMAMENT (10/1) (E/W)
LAH TI DAR (9/2)
Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap:
MANUELA DE VEGA (12/1) (E/W)
SPACE BLUES (13/8)