New to Tote? Get a £/€10 Welcome Offer
Join Tote >

The Oaks Stakes is a Group One flat race run at Epsom Downs over one mile, four furlongs and six yards. It is open to three year old fillies and is the third British Classic race, the second of two restricted to fillies. 

In the last 10 runnings of this race, superstar trainer Aidan O’Brien has won a very impressive six times and he is hoping to make it a seventh this year. However the competition for this year's renewal looks like it could be a competitive one if the current entries turn into declarations.

Above The Curve

Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien | Jockey: 

There is no doubt that she is a very talented filly, however stamina would have to be a slight doubt with her when it comes to a truly-run mile and a half. She’s had three starts in her career, never finishing outside of the first three. Last time out was at Chester where she finished second behind another Oaks hopeful Thoughts Of June for Aidan O’Brien by just a neck. She hung left inside the final furlong, if she hadn’t, would she have got up to win? There are certainly better horses in the race, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if she was among the places.

Ching Shih

Trainer: David Simcock | Jockey: 

The Musidora Stakes at York threw up some important pieces of the Oaks puzzle. Ching Shih finished 3rd behind the winner Emily Upjohn and Life Of Dreams in second. She kept on when she was ridden from over 1f out, which could suggest she has more in the tank for the extra distance here. However, she would need to have the performance of a lifetime to be able to reverse the form on the hot favourite Emily Upjohn. She is hard to fancy.

Concert Hall

Trainer: A P O’Brien | Jockey: 

She was impressive when winning at Navan in a Listed Race last time out. She wasn’t given much room by her rivals but with Ryan Moore on board, she switched right and made the room to get up to win by a short head. Her Salsabil Stakes form received a massive boost when Tranquil Lady won the Blue Wind Stakes by four lengths from Lily Pond. She’s definitely an interesting runner here. Wouldn’t be too surprising if she was challenging for the places.

Emily Upjohn

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden | Jockey: 

She looks to be going into the race as a very hot favourite after remaining unbeaten in three starts, including her most recent run at York in the Musidora Stakes where she took on four rivals, three of which still hold entries in the Oaks. She’s been nothing but impressive in her career so far and on paper, she should be the one they all have to beat on the day.

Emotion

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden | Jockey: 

Emotion was very impressive when winning at Kempton on the all-weather at the beginning of May. She won by a huge 16 lengths under Cieren Fallon, who should be taking the ride again here, if she is declared. Her racecourse debut was in April at Sandown where she was never better than mid-division before finishing 8th of 12 runners, it is important to note, that the race was won by stable companion Emily Upjohn. She would need a career best here to come close to Emily Upjohn here, however if she could transfer her latest all-weather result onto the turf, she might get into the places, but it is a huge ask.

History

Trainer: A P O’Brien | Jockey: 

There is still a huge question mark surrounding History’s stamina. She’s had four career starts, with a mile being the furthest she’s gone. In her latest effort at Leopardstown she was running on towards the line, which is a positive sign. She’s one of the O’Brien runners that may be less likely to run than some of the others. If she does run, we shouldn’t underestimate any of the O’Brien yards runners.

Kawida

Trainer: Ed Walker | Jockey: 

Kawida is possibly one of the least fancied in this race currently. She finished last season strongly with a win at Haydock before winning a Listed Race at Newmarket. In her seasonal reappearance she finished 3rd of six runners in the French Prix Cleopatre only a length behind the winner. She’s hard to pick above some of the other names entered in the race. 

Life Of Dreams

Trainer: Charlie Appleby | Jockey: 

Life Of Dreams was very strong in the market at one point but we’ve seen her drift massively over the past week or so, especially since finishing second to Emily Upjohn at York. However, she looks an impressive filly and she could well reverse the form with Emily Upjohn. Whether she can or not is another question, if she continues to drift to a decent price then she could be a big pick for the Placepot.

Mise En Scene

Trainer: James Ferguson | Jockey:

Mise En Scene was really impressive in the early part of last season, winning both of her opening races. As the season went on, she was less impressive. She finished 4th of nine in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October. However that form was franked when Cachet won and Prosperous Voyage finished 2nd in the 1000 Guineas. Her latest run came in October in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf where she finished 10th of 14 where she really weakened in the final furlong. Based on that latest run, you have to question her stamina and if James Ferguson has been able to work on that enough at home for her to be competitive here. She’s a talented filly but the extra distance may be a little too much to ask.

Moon De Vega

Trainer: Ralph Beckett | Jockey:

Moon De Vega’s seasonal reappearance came at Chester in a Fillies Listed Race over 1m3½ furlongs where she finished 4th behind two other Oaks entrants, the winner Thoughts Of June and the 2nd placed Above The Curve. She was hampered two furlongs out and was never really able to recover. However she did keep on to the line. The question remains… Could she have been closer to her opposition if she wasn’t badly hampered? If she gets a clear run in the Oaks, she could go well. 

Nashwa 

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden | Jockey:

Nashwa is an interesting contender. She was very eye-catching in her career debut at Newmarket last season when finishing 3rd to William Haggas’ Coronation Stakes entry Golden Lyra. She has since gone on to win both of her runs this season. Opening up her account this year at Haydock when beating stable companion Wonderful Times by over six lengths followed up by another impressive performance at Newbury where she went from last to first to win. The only question mark is if she can get the extra distance. If she can, then she could definitely cause her stable companion Emily Upjohn some issues upfront.

Ottilien

Trainer: David Menuisier | Jockey:

Ottilien has only raced on British soil once in her career, this was at Ascot in September last year. She disappointed when finishing 6th of eight runners. She has since headed to France three times with three good runs, her first being a 2nd before winning her last of the season and first of this season. She ran on when running 1m2f, however she would need to pull something special out of the bag to win here. 

The Algarve

Trainer: A P O’Brien | Jockey:

She is one of the least fancied of the Aidan O’Brien horses here. She won at Galway in October, before finishing 4th in her seasonal reappearance in the Musidora Stakes. Reversing the form on the three who finished ahead of her would be a tough task.

Thoughts Of June

Trainer: A P O’Brien | Jockey:

In April she finished second behind Above The Curve before reversing that form at Chester. There’s no doubt that she could be an interesting runner, however the Placepot might be a more appropriate bet for her opposed to a Win bet.

Toy

Trainer: A P O’Brien | Jockey:

Toy is a difficult horse to fancy, if she runs. She’s yet to go further than a mile so we have to question her stamina. There are definitely other horses you’d select before her.

Tranquil Lady

Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien | Jockey:

She was disappointing when finishing 4th of nine in her seasonal reappearance, however she pulled it back the second time out when winning two weeks later. Her form from last season suggests she needs a run first time out before bouncing back the next couple of runs. She’s an interesting runner and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if she bagged herself a place.

Tuesday

Trainer: A P O’Brien | Jockey:

Tuesday, is by far, Aidan O’Brien’s number one runner here. She finished 3rd in a fiercely competitive 1000 Guineas and heads into this race strongly. We would have to assume at this point that Ryan Moore will take the ride. Ryan and Aidan have both been on fire as of late, so it would come as no surprise if they were to win here.

With The Moonlight

Trainer: Charlie Appleby | Jockey: 

With The Moonlight is a horse that may have just gone under the radar slightly. She won the Pretty Polly Takes on 1000 Guineas Day at Newmarket when making her season debut which sets her up well here. A place looks more likely than a victory, but Charlie Appleby has already won the first two Classics of the season so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he could pull it out of the bag again.

Our Verdict:

Emily Upjohn would have to be the one to beat. She’s shown her class time and time again and for any of the other runners to beat her, they would need to pull out a career best. Tuesday looks to be Aidan O’Brien’s best chance in the race and she should give Emily Upjohn a challenge. Nashwa looks like she could cause some issues for the other two.

Trifecta: 

  • Emily Upjohn 
  • Tuesday
  • Nashwa

Read More