Epsom Oaks - Friday 1st June 2012 

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Leading Contenders for the 2012 Epsom Oaks

There are currently 95 filly’s still standing their ground in order to contest the 2012 Investec Oaks on June 1st at Epsom but of course, there will be nothing like that come the day.

© Caroline Norris

The field will begin to reduce quite quickly now that the flat season is underway and the Classic trials taking place on both sides of the Irish Sea. Races such as the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes and the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes will be the first to take place in the UK together with races over in Ireland as well as in France to be taken into consideration too.

As it stands with just over six weeks to the race, there are a handful of leading three year old fillies who are being highly touted for the the Fillies Classic based on juvenile form and reputations from breeding or yards.

Maybe – Trainer: AP O’Brien. Sire/Dam: Galileo/Sumora

Unbeaten in five progressive starts, this Filly met every challenge thrown at her as a juvenile, winning her maiden over six furlongs, followed by wins at seven furlongs in Listed, Group 3 and Group 2 company, with her final win being in the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes at the Curragh last August. She holds an entry for the 1000 Guineas for which she is the 7/2 favourite and her pedigree suggests she should stay beyond the mile and 12/1 with Ladbrokes about the Oaks is very tempting at this stage.

Wading – Trainer: AP O’Brien. By Montjeu out of Cherry Hinton

This impressive winner of the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes as a juvenile has been installed as the 6/1 antepost favourite in the Epsom Oaks odds but like her stablemate, Maybe, is likely to run first in the 1000 Guineas on 6th May at Newmarket or possibly the Group 3 Athasi Stakes at the Curragh on 7th May. A great traveller who has shown an extremely quick turn of foot, she could be the leading female Classic contender to honour her late father's reputation in 2012.

Discourse – Trainer: M Zarooni. By Street Cry out of Divine Dixie

Possibly the leading Godolphin entry, who was last seen at the beginning of August impressively winning the Group 3 Solera Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket. She is quoted at 12/1 for the Oaks but is the 8/1 second favourite to win the 1000 Guineas which is her next engagement.

Lyric Of Light – Trainer: M Zarooni. By Street Cry out of Suez

Already proven over a mile with two wins at the distance, firstly in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster followed by the Group 1 Shadwell Fillies Mile at Newmarket last September this fellow Godolphin owned Filly should be seen in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes over seven furlongs this Saturday at Newbury where a win would secure her entry for the 1000 Guineas and beyodn that she is quoted as a 12/1 chance to win the Oaks.

Kissed – Trainer: AP O’Brien. By Galileo out of Gwynn

Difficult to assess on just one winning run in a two year old maiden last October over a mile on soft ground at Navan this is another Ballydoyle bred daughter of Galileo with a big reputation. She certainly gets 12 furlongs on breeding and she shaped up as a staying type in her one race. She will probably bypass the 1000 Guineas and use the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes over 1m2f at Naas on 16th May as her Oaks prep race.

Was – Trainer: AP O’Brien. By Galileo out of Alluring Park

This Filly cost £1.2m as a yearling and caught the eye on her only run to date when winning her maiden over a mile at the Curragh last August. She is highly regarded at Ballydoyle who believe her progress at home will be seen on May 16th when she joins stablemate, Kissed in the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes at Naas and is the outsider at 20/1 of what looks to be a strong O'Brien contingent heading to Epsom in June.

As it stands, it looks like Aidan O'Brien is gifted with a crop of hugely promising three year old Fillies and whilst it remains uncertain which will feature in both the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks at this stage, it is safe to assume that together with his Colts, who have an equally as big reputation, especially Camelot, 2012 could be a vintage year for the Ballydoyle operation.


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