The 2018 Epsom Oaks and all the trends…

Posted by Paul Moon in Blog | Leave a comment

The Oaks is the third of five English Classics, is ran at Epsom and over distance of 1m4f for 3yo fillies. This year it will be run on Friday 1st June and we have some trends to help our members sift the pretenders from the contenders. We will cover five of the races on Friday.

Looking at the Oaks it is clear we are looking for a filly who has raced in the last five weeks, finished first or second last time out and had won over 1m2f previously. We want the trainer to be in form with their horses and act on the soft ground. Obviously we will look long and hard at anything Aidan O'Brien saddles.

We are not sure there is a filly of real quality in this year’s field. Wild Illusion will be looking to give the 1,000 Guineas form a boost after finishing fourth in that race over a mile. Fresh in our memory is her win at Chantilly last October in the Boussac. She kept finding once asked for everything and gave connections a second straight win in the raced.  Positive tactics in first-time cheekpieces worked the oracle and she looked right at home on the deep surface. There's little doubt she'll get the distance on this ground. She's 4lbs clear of Bye Bye Baby and 9lbs more than anything else in the race so clearly the one to beat.

Meanwhile, Cheshire Oaks first and second Magic Wand and Forever Together are likely entries for Aidan O’Brien, who has won three of the last six editions of the Oaks. It is significant that William Haggas, who won the Musidora with Give And Take, thinks that Sea Of Class is the better of his two entries. We will complete this piece on Thursday night at 6pm.... ..

2018 EPSOM OAKS 1m4f6y

16/16: Ran within the last 5 weeks (100%)
14/16: Horses from stall 1 that were unplaced (88%)
13/16: Finished 1st or 2nd last time out (81%)
11/16: Won from stall 5 or higher (69%)
11/16: Won over at least 1m2f previously (69%)
10/16: Favourites that were placed (63%)
..9/16: Won last time out (56%)
..5/16: Won by the favourite (1 joint) (31%)
..5/16: Returned a double-figure price (31%)
..4/16: Ran in the English 1,000 Guineas (25%)
..4/16: Trained by Aidan O’Brien (25%)
..4/16: Irish-trained winners (25%)
..2/16: Trained by Ralph Beckett (13%)
..2/16: Trained by John Gosden (13%)
..2/16: Ridden by Ryan Moore (13%)
..0/16: Had run at the course before (0%)
..0/16: Had run over 1m4f before (0%)

7 of the last 11 favourites were unplaced
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the race 6 times
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 12.5/1
Kazzia (2002) and Minding (2016) were the last horses to win both the 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks
The horse from stall 2 has been placed in 7 of the last 14 runnings but significantly 11 of the last 16 winners have come from stall 5 or higher.

Charlie Appleby said of Wild Illusion: "I've always thought that stepping up in trip was going to be Wild Illusion's forte, and while I'm not saying she's soft-ground dependent, she'll certainly appreciate a cut in the ground."


1st: WILD ILLUSION 5/2  2nd: BYE BYE BABY 15/2  3rd: PERFECT CLARITY 7/1

Timeform View

Aidan O’Brien is mob-handed and it's MAGIC WAND who makes the most appeal. It was hard not to be impressed by the manner of her success in the Cheshire Oaks and she is sure to improve further still. Wild Illusion is the form choice having won the Prix Marcel Boussac before a creditable fourth in the 1000 Guineas, and there's sufficient stamina in her pedigree to suggest she'll stay this far.


Looking at four other races we will post our betting advice on Thursday night at 6pm once we know the state of the ground, runners and riders.

2.00 Epsom: Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes (Class 2) 6f

16/16: Ran within the last 4 weeks (100%)
15/16: Won over either 5 or 6f before (94%)
14/16: Finished 1st or 2nd last time out (88%)
14/16: Returned 7/1 or shorter (88%)
13/16: Single-figured stalls that filled the first three home (81%)
13/16: Had 2 or more previous runs (81%)
12/16: Winners from stall 5 or lower (75%)
11/16: Yet to win over 6f (69%)
..8/16: Winning favourites (2 joint) (50%)
..7/16: Won their previous race (44%)
..5/16: Trained by Mark Johnston (2002, 2003, 2011, 2015 & 2017) (31%)
..3/16: Trained by the Richard Hannon yard (19%)
..2/16: Trained by Mick Channon (13%)
..2/16: Ridden by Silvestre De Sousa (13%)

The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 5/1


1st: MARIE'S DIAMOND 3/1  2nd: USAIN BOAT 8/1  3rd: COSMIC LAW 11/1

Timeform View

This appears not to be the strongest renewal, so once-raced colt MENDOZA could be the answer given the clear promise he displayed under a considerate ride at Newbury a fortnight ago. Marie's Diamond and Its The Only Way set the standard on their third/fourth placed finishes in minor company last time.


2.35 Epsom: Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap (Class 2) 1m114y

13/15: Raced within the last 6 weeks (87%)
13/15: Won over at least a mile before (87%)
12/15: Won between 2-5 times before (80%
12/15: Aged 4 or 5yo (80%)
10/15: Irish bred (67%)
10/15: Drawn in stall 8 or lower (67%)
10/15: Came from the top 3 in the betting (67%)
..9/15: Placed last time out (60%)
..9/15: Placed favourites (60%)
..8/15: Carried 9st 1lbs or more (53%)
..6/15: Raced at the track before (40%)
..4/15: Raced at Sandown last time out (27%)
..3/15: Won last time out (20%)
..3/15: Winning favourites (20%)
..2/15: Trained by Andrew Balding (13%)
..2/15: Trained by Mark Johnston (13%)

Godolphin won the race 12 months ago
8 of the last 10 winners returned 15/2 or shorter in the betting
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 13/2



Timeform View

MASHAM STAR was worn down only in the dying strides at Ayr last time, and another bold bid seems assured from the same mark. Conditions should favour King's Pavilion given his best recent form has come with cut in the ground, with Donncha another to consider despite his long losing run tempering enthusiasm.


3.10 Epsom: Investec Coronations Cup (Group 1) 1m4f

16/16: Previously won a Group 1 or 2 race (100%)
15/16: Won over 1m4f before (94%)
15/16: Aged 6yo or younger (94%)
14/16: Finished in the top three last time out (88%)
13/16: Aged either 4 or 5yo (81%)
11/16: Ran at either Chester, York, Newmarket or the Curragh last time out (69%)
11/16: Raced within the last 5 weeks (69%)
10/16: Horses from stall 3 that were placed (four won) (63%)
10/16: Favourites placed (63%)
..8/16: Won by trainer Aidan O’Brien (2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2017) (50%)
..6/16: Won their last race (38%)
..6/16: Winning favourites (38%)
..4/16: Had run at Epsom before (25%)
..3/16: Ridden by Ryan Moore (2009, 2011 & 2017) (19%)
..1/16: Winners from stall 1 (6%)

The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 5/2


1st: CRACKSMAN 1/3  2nd: HAWKSBILL 7/1  3rd: IDAHO 8/1

Timeform View

CRACKSMAN picked up where he left off when forging clear in the Prix Ganay on his reappearance at the end of April and it's very hard to see past him here, particularly as his best performance to date came when faced with soft ground. Idaho won readily at Chester last month and is narrowly preferred to Sheema Classic hero Hawkbill for the forecast spot.


3.45 Epsom: Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (Class 2) 1m2f

14/15: Won over at least 1m2f or further before (93%)
12/15: Raced within the last 5 weeks (80%)
12/15: Aged 4 or 5yo (80%)
11/15: Had won at least 3 times before (73%)
11/15: Carried 9st 0lbs or less in weight (73%)
11/15: Came from stall 8 or lower (73%)
10/15: Returned 8/1 or shorter (67%)
10/15: Rated between 86-97 (67%)
..9/15: Irish bred (60%)
..9/15: Placed favourites (60%)
..8/15: Came from the top three in the betting (53%)
..8/15: Winning distance – 1 length or shorter (53%)
..5/15: Had raced at the track before (33%)
..4/15: Won last time out (27%)
..3/15: Winning favourites (20%)
..3/15: Raced at Goodwood last time out (20%)

The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/1
Not So Sleepy won the race 12 months ago


1st: AJMAN KING 6/4  2nd: DARK RED 10/1  Banditry 8/1

Timeform View

AJMAN KING looked a colt heading rapidly in the right direction on his C&D return in April and a 5 lb rise seems unlikely to prevent him taking the next step up the ladder. Another Touch ran well behind the selection here last time and should figure again with conditions to suit, while last year's winner Not So Sleepy looks primed for another bold bid after a decent third at Chester.


  Today's Pacafi: click here


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