Savethelastdance tops 11 in Betfred Oaks field
The daughter of Galileo has been favourite for the fillies’ showpiece ever since decimating the opposition in the Cheshire Oaks earlier this month and heads to Epsoms in anticipation of faring much better in the 12 furlong event than her dam Daddys Lil Darling who bolted to post during a thunderstorm, unshipped Olivier Peslier and was subsequently withdrawn in 2017.
As well as Savethelastdance, O’Brien will also saddle Be Happy and Red Riding Hood in his attempt to secure Oaks win number 11 and continue his domination of the Friday feature.
John and Thady Gosden are responsible for what the bookmakers feel will be Savethelastdance’s biggest challenge saddling both Pretty Polly winner Running Lion and Musidora scorer Soul Sister, the latter the mount of Frankie Dettori in his final Oaks outing before retirement.
Supplementary entry and Lingfield trial winner Eternal Hope is entrusted with trying to provide Charlie Appleby with his first Oaks success, while Heartache Tonight is an interesting contender for David Menuisier having finished a close-up fourth in the Prix Saint-Alary.
Jack Channon’s 1000 Guineas fourth Caernarfon steps up in trip from a mile for her first start since Newmarket, while Maman Joon (Richard Hannon), Sea Of Roses (Andrew Balding) and Bright Diamond (Karl Burke) are the others heading to the mile-and-a-half start on Friday afternoon.
The other Group One on the card is the Dahlbury Coronation Cup where Westover will look to erase the demons of his troubled run in last year’s Derby.
Ralph Beckett’s Frankel colt was a somewhat unlucky loser behind Desert Crown 12 months ago, but gained compensation in the Irish equivalent and arrives on the back of a fine run to finish second in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March.
Emily Upjohn was another to be narrowly denied in her quest for Classic success in 2022 and reappears having opened her Group One account in the autumn, while Hurricane Lane is Godolphin’s chosen representative having bounced back to his best in the Jockey Club Stakes.
Ballydoyle’s Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in two starts this term and races over 12 furlongs for the first time, with Tunnes an interesting raider from Germany rounding off a select field of five.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox