4.30 Epsom: English Oaks, 1m 4f
This looks an intriguing renewal of the Oaks. With soft ground on offer, the race is thrown wide open and cases can be made for- or against anyone in this field.
Guineas fourth Wild Illusion is a fair favourite and she’s probably got a decent chance to follow-on from the Fillies’ Classic as I feel she’s got a decent chance to stay the new trip. The price is rotten, though.
From the market principles Magic Wand is the one I prefer, no question. I liked what she did at Chester and she should have plenty of improvement left. The ground is a slight question.
My money runs with one of the outsiders of the field: Ejtyah. She is inexperienced and had only two starts. That isn’t ideal. She looked raw and green on debut at Chelmsford toward the end of last year and was still very much learning her trade in the Musidora last month.
That was her seasonal debut, she is entitled to come on a fair bit for the run. A good performance that was, finishing third, on ground possibly too firm for her when she was probably shy of full fitness as well.
Ejtyah should have learned plenty that day – she has to, though. Now stepping up to the Derby distance looks a big bonus and so could be the softish ground. Frankel has a remarkable record on soft ground (+12f) with his offspring, actually, so from that perspective it isn’t a negative.
Connections also believe a fast surface isn’t the best for her as she was withdrawn from the Lingfield Oaks Trial for ground reasons.
No doubt, Ejtyah isn’t the likeliest winner. She has quite a bit to find with the market principles on pure form. She may not find enough to go close. That says, she is entitled to improve quite a bit for her seasonal reappearance run, for experience, the trip and potentially the ground.
All of that makes her a compelling bet at a massive price in an open Oaks.
10pts win – Ejtyah @ 20/1 WH
8.40 Doncaster: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 1m 2f
Favourite Maid Up is rock solid and one I do like allot. However, given prices, I do fancy even more long-shot Girls Talk.
You can totally discount her recent Beverly run – a wide draw, she ended up four wide nearly for the entire time of the race and she simply had no chance. Look at what she done before and it gets interesting.
Her seasonal comeback run at Lingfield, albeit 5th and three lengths beaten, is quite a good one. She crossed over from a her draw to lead the field until the final furlong marker when eventually fading away in the closing stages. Given it was her first race since October she was entitled to get tired.
The sectionals aren’t anything special, nonetheless, the fact she led a pretty decent field for that type of race in commanding style for as long as she did from her then 5lb higher mark than the current one, is intriguing. The form of that race works out pretty well, so I rate this performance highly.
She showed flashes as a juvenile, particularly in her second start; however, as an April foal she is due to be a much better horse with experience and age.
Down to a rating off 62, stepping up to 10f for the first time, she seems overpriced, as on pedigree the trip looks very much possible.
10pts win – Girls Talk @ 25/1 VC
9.10 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f
Handicap debutant Moon Of Baroda looks ripe for a massive run. He showed glimpses of potential in Novice and Maiden company. Now going handicapping, while stepping up to 12f on ground likely to suit, this son of Dubawi is in with a big shout in this race.
Still a colt, connections give him every chance to develop. He didn’t run as a juvenile last year, only made his debut this winter. His future is clearly over longer trips, so stepping up to the longer 1m 4f is a big plus.
Moon Of Baroda hails from a good family, and Dubawi’s stats for three year old handicappers over 12 furlongs are off the charts! Blinkers are fitted for the first time too, hopefully sharpen him up.
10pts win – Moon Of Baroda @ 11/2 PP