Emily Upjohn and Nashwa head Oaks confirmations
Red-hot favourite Emily Upjohn and her stablemate Nashwa are among 12 fillies confirmed for the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom on Friday.
Emily Upjohn is odds-on across the board after claiming her third win from as many starts in the Musidora Stakes at York earlier this month.
The daughter of Sea The Stars will bid to provide John Gosden, who now trains in partnership with son Thady, with a fourth Oaks success following the previous triumphs of Taghrooda, Enable and Anapurna.
One of the biggest threats to Frankie Dettori’s mount is fellow Clarehaven Stables inmate Nashwa, who will be ridden by Hollie Doyle.
The Frankel filly has looked every inch a top-class performer in winning at Haydock and Newbury and will test her powers over a mile and a half for the first time on the Surrey Downs.
Aidan O’Brien secured his ninth Oaks success with Snowfall 12 months ago and looks likely to be well represented once again.
Chief among the four Ballydoyle contenders is Tuesday, who has been placed in both the English and Irish versions of the 1000 Guineas.
She could be joined by Irish 1,000 Guineas third Concert Hall and Thoughts Of June, who booked her ticket to Epsom with victory in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester, while The Algarve completes the O’Brien quartet.
Charlie Appleby’s impressive Newbury scorer With The Moonlight and Joseph O’Brien’s Naas Group Three winner Tranquil Lady also feature – as does Tom Clover’s Lingfield trial winner Rogue Millennium, who has been supplemented at a cost of £25,000.
A maximum field of six will go to post for the Dahlbury Coronation Cup.
For a long time it looked like last year’s Derby hero Adayar would return to Epsom to bid for another Group One success, but as expected he has been taken out after suffering a minor setback.
In his absence, Appleby is set to rely on Manobo, who suffered the first defeat of his career when beaten half a length in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March.
Pyledriver was a popular winner of last year’s Coronation Cup for the training team of William Muir and Michael Grassick and is firmly on course to defend his crown, while Mark and Charlie Johnston’s Living Legend bids to land his fourth successive victory having landed the Jockey Club Stakes last time.
Hukum (Owen Burrows) and Palavecino (Brian Meehan) are also among the acceptors, as is O’Brien’s High Definition, who ran a fine race when beaten only a neck in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh recently.
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