Minding (far right) is one of 16 Oaks entries for O’Brien
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
AIDAN O’BRIEN looks set to launch a strong defence of his Investec Oaks crown as he has entered 16 horses in the fillies’ Classic, including impressive Dubai Fillies’ Mile winner and 1,000 Guineas favourite Minding.
O’Brien, who trained last year’s 50-1 shock winner Qualify, is responsible for a host of well-fancied fillies and has the first six horses in the betting, headed by Minding at 5-1.
Beautiful Morning, who is out of Date With Destiny – the only foal of 2,000 Guineas winner George Washington – is an interesting contender, as is Dothraki Queen, who is trained in America by Kenny McPeek and finished third to the unbeaten Songbird in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland last year.
A total of 61 fillies have been entered, which is set to be run at Epsom on Friday, June 3.
Another star filly
Last year’s St Leger winner Simple Verse also has Epsom on her agenda as she is set to tackle Coronation Cup after making her reappearance in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on 2,000 Guineas day.
“Simple Verse is in good shape and I am keen to run her in the Dunaden At Overbury Jockey Club Stakes as a prep race for the Coronation Cup,” trainer Ralph Beckett said. “She has done well over the winter and I am very happy with her condition, although I wouldn’t want to risk her on fast ground if it dries up at Newmarket.”
Simple Verse could clash with Jack Hobbs at Newmarket as the Derby runner-up is one of 18 entries.
Juddmonte International hero back
Arabian Queen, who famously took the scalp of Derby winner Golden Horn at York, may make her reappearance in the Charm Spirit at Tweenhills in 2017 Dahlia Stakes. David Elsworth’s star filly could face up to 13 rivals at Newmarket, including dual Group 1 winner Amazing Maria.
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