The impressive Cheshire Oaks winner Mehdaayih is one of the 16 horses entered in the £523,750 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs on Friday.

Mehdaayih was supplemented into fillies' Classic at a cost of £30,000 on the back of her Chester romp. The daughter of Frankel is the 9/4 favourite in the market.

Mehdaayih's trainer John Gosden is also responsible for another impressive trial scorer in Anapurna (7/1), who defeated Tauteke (33/1, Roger Varian) by six lengths in the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial.

Gosden is looking to land a third Oaks, having won it before with Taghrooda (2014) and his star mare Enable (2017).

Master Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien captured his seventh Oaks triumph last year and his five contenders this year are headlined by Pink Dogwood (3/1).

A half-sister to 2018 Irish Derby winner Latrobe, Pink Dogwood opened up the season with an easy win in the Listed Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

O'Brien's other Oaks entries are the 1,000 Guineas heroine Hermosa (12/1), who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday, plus Fleeting (33/1), successful in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September, Delphinia (40/1) and Peach Tree (33/1).

Further Irish interest comes in the shape of Tarnawa (16/1, Dermot Weld), winner of the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas, and last season's Fillies' Mile scorer Iridessa (16/1, Joseph O'Brien), who has also ran in Sunday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas.

William Haggas has two live chances in Maqsad (7/1) and Frankellina (14/1). Maqsad has won twice at Newmarket this year, recently winning the Pretty Polly Stakes, while Frankellina went down by the narrowest of margins in the Musidora Stakes at York.

Ralph Beckett is a dual Oaks-winning trainer and the Andover handler is set to be represented by Manuela De Vega (14/1).

Unbeaten as a two-year-old the filly shaped well on her comeback when second behind Mehdaayih at Chester.

Beckett said: "Manuela De Vega is in good form and we have been pleased with her preparation for the Investec Oaks.

"She did a piece of work Tuesday morning on the grass which was nice and the Oaks remains the plan.

"I was really pleased with her run at Chester. She had to give a penalty away and the winner got first run on us. She ran well and she will improve from that effort.

"She needed that run and it would also have done her the world of good to go round Chester and race in between fillies.

"Hopefully, we will be competitive at Epsom. We have been lucky enough to win the Oaks twice and we are looking forward to running Manuela De Vega on Friday."

Lavender's Blue (12/1, Amanda Perrett), a close second in the Listed Fillies' Trial at Newbury on May 18, Musidora Stakes fifth Blue Gardenia (50/1, David O'Meara) and Sh Boom (66/1, Peter Chapple-Hyam) make up the field.

Investec Oaks - 888sport Horse Racing Betting:

9/4 Mehdaayih; 3/1 Pink Dogwood; 7/1 Anapurna, Maqsad; 12/1 Hermosa, Lavender's Blue; 14/1 Manuela De Vega, Frankellina; 16/1 Iridessa, Tarnawa; 33/1 Fleeting, Tauteke, Peach Tree; 40/1 Delphinia, Blue Gardenia; 66/1 Sh Boom

Each-way: 1/4 odds, 1-2-3

 

Derby Festival: Coronation Cup

There is more Group action on Friday afternoon to look forward to in the shape of the Coronation Cup big race preview, which currently has 14 entered after Old Persian was supplemented into it at a cost of £25,000 to his owners, Godolphin.

The four-year-old colt, the 3/1 second-favourite, produced one of the best middle-distance performances anywhere when scoring in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan at the end of March.

His trainer, Charlie Appleby said:  "He has come out of his victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic in good form and a reproduction of that effort is going to make him very competitive.

"He is a typical Dubawi colt, who is looking the finished article as a four-year-old, and we saw out in Dubai how well he travels through his races, which will hopefully serve him well around Epsom."

Aidan O'Brien is the most successful trainer in the Coronation Cup with eight victories and his five contenders this year include Kew Gardens, who is the 2/1 favourite.

The four-year-old was a dual Group One winner last season, including the St Leger at Doncaster, and finished second to Morando (10/1, Andrew Balding) on his seasonal return in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester. Kew Gardens finished seventh in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on his final start of last year.

Magical (6/1) and Flag Of Honour (50/1), both successful at G1 level in 2018, may also run for O'Brien along with Cypress Creek (66/1) and Hunting Horn (66/1), who was fourth behind Old Persian in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Lah Ti Dar (4/1) and Coronet (12/1) will represent John Gosden, while Mark Johnston has two contenders as well in Communique (20/1) and Mildenberger (33/1) who were first and third in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket earlier in the month.

Salouen (8/1, Sylvester Kirk) was beaten a head by Cracksman in the 2018 Coronation Cup and the five-year-old is looking to take his first Group One.

Last year's G1 Melbourne Cup runner-up Marmelo (25/1, Hughie Morrison) and Jockey Club Stakes second Defoe (16/1, Roger Varian) complete the line-up.

Investec Coronation Cup - 888sport Betting Odds:

2/1 Kew Gardens; 3/1 Old Persian; 4/1 Lah Ti Dar; 6/1 Magical; 8/1 Salouen; 10/1 Morando; 12/1 Coronet; 16/1 Defoe; 20/1 Communique; 25/1 Marmelo; 33/1 Mildenberger; 50/1 Flag Of Honour; 66/1 Cypress Creek, Hunting Horn

Each-way: 1/5 odds, 1-2-3

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.