Epsom Oaks - Friday 4th June 2010 

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Pollenator Among Superb Entry of 77 for Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs 18/03/10

Five years after packing out the winner’s enclosure following Motivator’s victory in the Investec Derby, members of the Royal Ascot Racing Club are set to bid for a second Classic victory at Epsom Downs with Pollenator, one of 77 entries revealed today for the £350,000 Group One Investec Oaks on Friday, June 4.



The three-year-old Richard Hannon-trained filly, from the first crop of Motivator, ended a progressive juvenile season with a half-length victory over subsequent Group One scorer Hibaayeb in the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting in September.

Harry Herbert, Racing Manager of the Royal Ascot Racing Club, reported today: “Pollenator looks in very good form at the moment and she is coming to hand very quickly. She looks fantastic - she still has a bit of a coat left on her - but her skin looks bright, which is a great sign.

“She is on course to make her seasonal return in the 1000 Guineas. We can’t say for sure until she does her first couple of pieces of serious work, but she looks stronger this year and she has physically done really well from two to three.

“She showed plenty of speed in her juvenile campaign but you would have to think that she will better going further. The improvement last season ultimately came from stepping up to a mile at Doncaster. She was stopped a couple times in that race but she overcame that to win, so I think that she would have won more comfortably with a clear run.

“The form of that race has worked out really well and it was just unfortunate that she wasn’t entered in the Fillies’ Mile but it closed before Doncaster. On the one hand, it was great to see Hibaayeb win, but it would have been great to have a winner in front of our members at Ascot.

“My gut feeling is that she could straight to the Investec Oaks after Newmarket. She won’t need a trial from a fitness perspective because she is very much like her sire - she’s a busy filly who likes to get on with it. It depends what happens in the Guineas, but we could possibly look at something like the Musidora to test her over an extended trip.”

With eight Investec Oaks wins to his name, no current trainer can hold a candle to Henry Cecil’s record in the mile and a half Classic. A quartet of entries from the master of Warren Place includes Newmarket Listed scorer Timepiece as well as Principal Role, Kithonia and Aviate, who have all made winning starts to their careers.

Aidan O’Brien is also no stranger to success in the Investec Oaks, having sent out Shatoush (1998), Imagine (2001) and Alexandrova (2006) to victory. Ireland’s champion trainer is responsible for 17 of the 32 Irish-trained entries, headed by You’ll Be Mine, who was third behind Hibaayeb in the Fillies’ Mile, and Group Two Debutante Stakes winner Lillie Langtry.

The Ballydoyle contingent also features Leopardstown Group Three scorer Cabaret, Debutante Stakes runner-up Devoted To You, Listed winner Lady Lupus and Famous, runner-up to the Kevin Prendergast-trained Termagant in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in August.

Jim Bolger saddled Jet Ski Lady to win the Investec Oaks in 1991 and a quartet of entries from the Co Carlow handler include Curragh maiden winners Sagacious and Gile Na Greine, while Dermot Weld, successful with Blue Wind in 1981, has entered three horses headed by Listed runner-up Sense Of Purpose.

Last year’s Fillies’ Mile heroine Hibaayeb has been transferred to the Godolphin operation, having previously been trained by Clive Brittain, and the daughter of Singspiel may be joined in the Investec Oaks by new stable companions Long Lashes, a Group Three winner at Newmarket, and Wedding March, who took fourth in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac for former handler Andre Fabre.

A total of five entries from Godolphin’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who sent out Moonshell (1995) and Kazzia (2002) to glory in the Investec Oaks, also includes Wolverhampton maiden scorer Hudoo and Siyaadah, successful in the Listed UAE 1,000 Guineas at Meydan in February.

Sir Michael Stoute, a dual Investec Oaks winner with Fair Salina (1978) and Unite (1987) has entered four fillies, including Hymnsheet, a debut scorer at Yarmouth, while John Dunlop, who has also twice been victorious in the fillies Classic with Circus Plume (1984) and Salsabil (1990) may be represented his year by Mudaaraah, who landed a Listed contest at Sandown in July.

Other notable entries include Namaskar and Dyna Waltz, from the stable of John Gosden, and impressive Nottingham maiden scorer Ceilidh House, who represents the same owner/trainer combination of Julian Richmond-Watson and Ralph Beckett, successful in the 2008 Investec Oaks with Look Here.

In addition to Pollenator, the Royal Ascot Racing Club could also be dreaming of Classic glory at Epsom Downs with Prompter, who holds an entry in the £1.25 million Investec Derby on Saturday, June 5.

The Michael Bell-trained colt, who is also by Motivator, became his sire’s first winner when comfortably taking a Chester maiden at the start of August prior to disappointing when coming home sixth in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown later the same month.

He ended his season with a far better effort, going down by a head to fellow Investec Derby hopeful Morana in the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Ascot at the start of October.

Herbert continued: “Prompter has done very well but he is more wintry than some of the other colts at Michael’s yard and he is taking his time to come to hand in terms of his coat.

“He has plenty of time before his intended seasonal return in the Dee Stakes at Chester. He has won round the course so it seemed such an obvious race to target.

“He was a fine horse last year - you could see that he had every chance of developing over the winter - and he has certainly done that. Hayley gave him a very clever ride in the Autumn Stakes and it looked like she had stolen the race but Morana nabbed him.

“He will be better this year and Michael has always thought very highly of him. He was gutted when Prompter didn’t run well in the Solario Stakes but I think that the ground might have been to quick for him. He was immature then and Michael’s horses weren’t particularly firing at the time.

“Hayley Turner has been on board on all four of Prompter’s starts so far and I would think that she would be continue her association with the colt. She would have every chance of riding him at Epsom, although it’s obviously early days at the moment.

“We are really excited about him. He’s a lovely horse but we have to find out whether he is up to the standard of the Investec Derby.”


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