Yorkshire Oaks Preview

laurens
Laurens

By Samantha

Thursday’s feature race is the Yorkshire Oaks. The first running was in 1849 and it is a race for fillies and mares aged three or over. It has an illustrious role of honour with the likes of Enable, Midday, the dam of Midterm and impressive recent winner Midi, Dar Re Mi, dam of So Mi Dar and the unbeaten Lah Ti Dar and Too Darn Hot, and Alexandrova have won it in their careers.

This year’s renewal looks a very good one with the French and Irish Oaks winners taking part. Here’s your runner-by-runner guide to the race…

1.Coronet

Frankie Dettori and John Gosden

This filly was frequently over-shadowed by stablemate Enable last season but she showed her true ability when scoring in the group two Middleton at York on seasonal debut and has since been second in the Prix De Saint-Cloud and third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Because she’s a four year old, she has to carry 9st7lbs which could catch her out against some higher rated, progressive three year olds.

2.Eziyra

William Buick and Dermot Weld

Dermot Weld’s filly seems a nice sort as she is yet to be out of the top three in all of her starts to date. She has ran once this season when landing the Ballyroan Stakes. She is a multiple group three winner and was third in last year’s Irish Oaks, one and a quarter lengths ahead of Coronet. She goes on any ground and will get the trip so she could be some value.

3.Horseplay

Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding

She was second to Coronet in the Middleton before coming out and winning the Lancashire Oaks beating Flattering over sixteen lengths. She may not be able to reverse the form with Coronet but still deserves her place in the line up.

4.Bye Bye Baby

Wayne Lordan and Aidan O’Brien

This horse has ran in lots of the big events of the mares’ calendar and won a group three before finishing third in the Oaks ahead of Magic Wand. She was then fourth in the Pretty Polly and fourth in the Irish Oaks behind Sea Of Class and once again ahead of Magic Wand. She’s a nice filly and has more appeal than any of the other Aidan O’Brien horses but would prefer soft ground and doesn’t seem to have the class of some of these horses.

5.Flattering

Michael Hussey and Aidan O’Brien

She is a fairly lightly raced filly and has won twice in her career, both times at Cork. She was third in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield and then was fifth in the real thing. She won the Munster Oaks but was then well beaten by Horseplay at Haydock and next time out in the Lillie Langtry. She’ll need to step up.

6.Laurens

PJ McDonald and Karl Burke

It is almost impossible to be more consistent than this filly. She has handled every challenge connections have given her and in brilliant style too. Her form figures read 1211211. At two, she won the May Hill at Doncaster and the Fillies’ Mile beating September, Magical and German guineas winner Nyaleti. She kicked off this season by finishing second in the 1000 Guineas beating some nice horses. She won the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix De Diane (French Oaks) in brilliant, gutsy style. She steps up in trip but looks as though she can handle it.

7.Magic Wand

Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien

This mare broke her maiden in the Cheshire Oaks and then was fourth in the actual Oaks. She got back to winning ways in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot beating Wild Illusion but couldn’t live with Sea Of Class in the Irish Oaks next time out. With the form of the yard questionable, I’d look elsewhere for the winning filly.

8.Sea Of Class

James Doyle and William Haggas

This filly is by Sea The Stars as her name suggests and is the best offspring so far of a Listed race winning mare. She was beaten on debut and then won a Listed race over one mile two at Newbury and then won a similar contest over that course and distance last time out. She then went over to Ireland for the Irish Oaks and won in good style, beating Bye Bye Baby and Magic Wand. She is a classy filly and will be hard to beat.

VERDICT

On some occasions in races like these, there is a horse you like with your heart and another with your head and, for me, LAURENS fills both of those criteria in one. All her victories have been so brilliant this year and she was desperately unlucky not to win the 1000 Guineas. She will be ridden by PJ McDonald, who deserves every group winner he gets. He’s always so friendly at the races when I see him and he is very excited to ride this girl. I think she’ll make the running and her biggest rival Sea Of Class is likely to be in the rear but she’ll be hard to pass when out in front despite the extended trip. The Aidan O’Brien fillies don’t look like they have the raw ability to win this and especially with the bad form the yard is in at the minute. The fillies could possibly be unaffected with whatever is going on at Ballydoyle as I Can Fly bolted up in a Listed race at Killarney on Wednesday.

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