Epsom Oaks Day

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Course and distance form is always important around Epsom, so last years winner THISTLE BIRD has a massive chance here. Despite not being consistent, she won this race twelve months ago. Since then she has placed in two Group Ones, her re-appearance this year was disappointing however it looked like she need the run, therefore I expect her to reverse form with Mango Diva and Odeliz.

Just The Judge can be classy on her day but she threw in some real poor performances at the end of last season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her come on from her reappearance but there’s also the unknown of whether she’ll handle the track . With question marks over many of these, I’m sticking with the course and distance winner despite this race looking stronger than when she won it last year.

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Back Thistle Bird at 4.00 – Ladbrokes
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Like Thistle Bird, GREGORIAN has the course and distance form after winning this race last year. He comes into this as a Group Two winner, from Newbury last August without a penalty. He was entered and ran well in three of the top Group One mile races last season, so he has a decent amount of form on his side.

French Navy, Graphic and Windhoek are all pretty much the same on levels of form. I feel Gregorian just has a little bit more class and with the course and distance form he is my selection.

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Back Gregorian at 3.50 – General
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This is a notoriously tough race to call with some very big priced winners over the last last few years. A lot of that is down to the amount of improvement that is shown and needed to win The Oaks. Marvellous was visually impressive when she won the Irish 1000 Guineas, however that was two weeks ago, on soft ground and she’s drawn in stall two today, them factors put me of backing her.

The race I like to look at to find the winner of this one is The Oaks Trial ran at Lingfield. It’s a race that’s over 11 furlongs, but always seems to be underrated. It’s a race that in recent years has had Oaks winners such as Look Here (finished 2nd at Lingfield), the high class Midday, who won at Lingfield before finishing 2nd in The Oaks and last years trial winner also finished 2nd at Epsom.

The winner of the Lingfield trial this year was HONOR BOUND, she got every year of the 11 furlongs and didn’t look like she was stopping approaching the line. The contours of Lingfield are similar to those of Epsom, so I have no worries about her being able to balance herself. She was sired by Derby winner Authorized so has a bit of class in her breeding. She’ll need to improve on what she has shown so far to win this, but that’s the same for all of these. At the prices and with Paddy Power offer four each-way place (1/4 odds) that’s where my money is going.

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Back Honor Bound each-way at 26.00 – Paddy Power
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