14 fillies going for glory in Friday’s Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs

Legatissimo headlines 14 six-day confirmations for the premier fillies’ Classic, the Group One Investec Oaks, at Epsom Downs on Investec Ladies’ Day, Friday, June 5.

The David Wachman-trained filly is the 3/1 favourite with Coral, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival, to follow up her victory in the mile QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3. Godolphin’s Kazzia was the last filly to complete this Classic double in 2002.

There are seven Irish-trained acceptors for the Epsom Downs Classic, worth £450,000, and Aidan O’Brien’s contingent is headed by close Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Found (7/1) and last season’s Group One Fillies’ Mile winner Together Forever (9/1).

O’Brien has also confirmed impressive Cheshire Oaks scorer Diamondsandrubies (8/1), Lingfield Oaks Trial third Wedding Vow (50/1) and Qualify (66/1) as he bids for a fifth Investec Oaks victory.

Jessica Harrington is planning to run Jack Naylor (8/1), who put up an eye-catching performance when fourth on her comeback in the Irish 1,000 Guineas on May 24.

Newmarket trainer John Gosden landed the spoils with Taghrooda 12 months ago and looks to have good chances again, courtesy of progressive trial winners Jazzi Top (16/1) and Star Of Seville (10/1).

Jazzi Top captured the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes in early May at Newmarket, the race which has produced the last two Investec Oaks winners, while Star Of Seville got the better of Together Forever in the Group Three Musidora Stakes at York on May 13.

Star Of Seville is out to give owner/breeder Lady Bamford a second success in the 12-furlong Investec Oaks after Sariska edged out Midday in a vintage renewal in 2009. The three-year-old filly by Duke Of Marmalade has been successful on three of her four starts.

Hugo Lascelles, racing manager to Lady Bamford, said: “Everyone is really looking forward to next week. The Investec Oaks looks very open this year and is shaping up to be really exciting race.

“Lady Bamford bred Star Of Seville and it was around July time last year that the filly started showing a bit at home. She had a minor setback and didn’t run then until October, but we always knew she was nice.

“We were very pleased at Newbury (when winning a valuable 10-furlong conditions race in good style first time out this year on April 17) and then she went to York. It was a small field, she had to do it all herself and was having a look around at the end.

“Sariska was a brilliant filly and won the Musidora with some authority whereas Star Of Seville won narrowly and was getting weight from the runner-up.

“I thought it was a very satisfactory performance but, whether it is good enough to win an Oaks, only time will tell.”

Crystal Zvezda (4/1, Sir Michael Stoute) laid down her marker for Classic glory when taking a Listed event impressively by three and half lengths earlier this month at Newbury, while Lady Of Dubai (12/1, Luca Cumani) captured the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes in similar fashion at Goodwood on May 21.

Ralph Beckett sent out Look Here (2008) and Talent (2014) to win the Investec Oaks and is set to be represented by Bellajeu (33/1) this time around.

The daughter of Montjeu was beaten a head in a Newbury maiden on her first outing for Beckett in October after being trained by Olly Stevens for her first two starts.

She finished second on her reappearance in the Listed Oaks Trial at Lingfield Park on May 9. Bellajeu will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sun Princess, who was a maiden when winning the Oaks in 1983.

Beckett said: “Bellajeu has been training well since Lingfield and I am happy with her condition and how she is looking.

“I wouldn’t say we are tilting at windmills but she is still a maiden and we are coming off only a placed effort in the Lingfield trial.

“Having said that, I think she is still coming forward and it’s worth a shot.”

There is one remaining entry from France, Al Naamah (16/1, Andre Fabre), who was sold for a record five million guineas as a yearling.

The daughter of Galileo, owned by Al Shaqab Racing, is a full-sister to 2012 Investec Oaks scorer Was and went down narrowly on her seasonal reappearance when the short-neck runner-up in the Group Three Prix Cleopatre at Saint-Cloud on May 13.

Like Jazzi Top and Star Of Seville, Al Naamah worked at Epsom Downs during the Breakfast With The Stars morning on Tuesday, May 26, gaining experience around the undulating course for herself and jockey Gregory Benoist who was also having his first experience of the Surrey track.

The confirmations are completed by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Local Time (50/1), who has already enjoyed a pair of Classic wins for Godolphin on dirt in Dubai this year – the UAE 1,000 Guineas and UAE Oaks.

A seven-race card on Investec Ladies’ Day also features a pair of Group Three races over an extended mile, with last year’s Derby fourth Arod (Peter Chapple-Hyam) featuring among 12 entries for the £70,000 Investec Diomed Stakes (3.10pm).

Dual Classic runner-up Lightning Thunder (Olly Stevens) is one of 15 contenders in the equivalent race for fillies and mares, the £70,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) (2.00pm).

Investec Oaks – Coral: Official Betting Partner
3/1 Legatissimo, 4/1 Crystal Zvezda, 7/1 Found, 8/1 Diamondsandrubies, Jack Naylor 9/1 Together Forever, 10/1 Star Of Seville, 12/1 Lady Of Dubai, 16/1 Al Naamah, Jazzi Top, 33/1 Bellajeu, 50/1 Local Time, 50/1 Wedding Vow, 66/1 Qualify
Each way 1/4 odds a place, 1-2-3, ante-post rules apply

The Investec Oaks
Group 1, £450,000 Total Prize Money. Epsom Downs, 4.30pm, Friday, June 5, 2015. For three-year-old fillies. One mile, four furlongs and 10 yards. Weights: 9st. Entries closed April 14, entries revealed April 15 (59 entries). Scratchings deadline May 19 (25 remained), six-day confirmation and £30,000 supplementary entry stage May 30 (14 go forward), final declaration stage 10.00am, June 3

Horse Owner Trainer
AL NAAMAH (IRE) Al Shaqab Racing Andre Fabre FR
BELLAJEU QRL/Sheikh Suhaim Al Thani/M Al Kubaisi Ralph Beckett
CRYSTAL ZVEZDA Sir Evelyn De Rothschild Sir Michael Stoute
DIAMONDSANDRUBIES (IRE) Roisin Henry/Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
FOUND (IRE) Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
JACK NAYLOR Gerard Byrne Jessica Harrington IRE
JAZZI TOP Helena Springfield Ltd John Gosden
LADY OF DUBAI Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum Luca Cumani
LEGATISSIMO (IRE) Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier David Wachman IRE
LOCAL TIME Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
QUALIFY (IRE) Mrs C C Regalado-Gonzalez Aidan O’Brien IRE
STAR OF SEVILLE Lady Bamford John Gosden
TOGETHER FOREVER (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
WEDDING VOW (IRE) Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
14 six-day confirmations
7 Irish-trained
1 French-trained

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