A Horse-By-Horse Guide For The Betfred Oaks At Epsom Downs

The Derby festival is just around the corner
10:00, 27 May 2023

The flat racing season is well underway and next week our attention turns to Epsom Downs for the famous Derby Festival. Before the pinnacle Betfred Derby arrives on Saturday, Friday delivers the Betfred Oaks.

The Oaks is a fillies-only classic run over a mile-and-a-half, the same as the Derby. Epsom Downs provides a huge stamina test for runners which in turn provides a stunning spectacle for viewers.

Here is a guide for all the prospective runners in the Betfred Oaks.

After a stunning 22-length victory at Chester earlier this month, Savethelastdance (11/8) is the current favourite in the Ladies’ Day showpiece. Interestingly, the three-year-old was ridden by Ryan Moore, who won the Oaks with Tuesday last year.

Flat racing legend Frankie Dettori rode Soul Sister (11/4) to victory at York a couple of weeks ago, beating Novakai by four lengths. A significant improvement from their 12/12 finish at Newbury in April.

Running Lion (6/1) triumphed on her last outing in the Howden Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, ridden by Oisin Murphy. She has a talent for coming up strong near the finish, which could serve her well in the Oaks.

After finishing third behind winner Soul Sister at York last time out, Infinite Cosmos (12/1) is going to be looking for a much-improved run at Epsom in the Oaks. Bluestocking (12/1) will be hoping for a stronger start in the Oaks after challenging for victory late on at Newbury last weekend. 

She was beaten by Warm Heart (14/1) by a head on that occasion. Trainer Aiden O’Brien will be feeling good about her chances at Epsom. Stablemate Never Ending Story (16/1) will need to show a lot more than her fifth-place finish at Longchamp earlier this month to be in contention.

Dance In The Grass (25/1) heads to the Oaks searching for her first win in almost a year, having triumphed in her first two career races at Sandown. Be Happy (40/1) has come close to victory in her last two appearances, and trainer O’Brien will hope to work his magic to land her a second career victory.

Betfred Oaks market via Betfred*

Stablemate Boogie Woogie (40/1) will need to show O’Brien some improvement after finishing sixth in the St Mark's Basilica Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp over a week ago. Sea Of Roses (40/1) is winless in her last two appearances, with her recent seven-and-three-quarter length finish behind Soul Sister at York a concern.

She may have been beaten by nine-and-a-half lengths on her debut at Newbury last month, but Maman Joon (40/1) has potential for a fruitful racing career. The Oaks might be a stretch given her lack of experience. Having won and placed in her first two career races, Jackie Oh (40/1) will be hoping for more success for O’Brien, who boasts quite a roster in this race.

Heartache Tonight (40/1) is looking to return to winning ways after first tasting victory at Longchamp back in October. Meditate (50/1) heads to Epsom on the hunt for her sixth career victory, but her last outing at Newmarket didn’t go according to plan.

Bright Diamond (50/1) hasn’t won since her debut at Newmarket last August and it will take one hell of a run for her to take the Oaks. Unless (50/1) has won or placed in her last four outings, including victory at Naas last week. Could certainly be worth a look as an outsider at Epsom.

Jack Channon-trained Caernarfon (50/1) had a disappointing return to Newmarket at the beginning of the month, having won there back in October. The Oaks appears to have arrived at the wrong time for her. Red Riding Hood (66/1) will be hoping for a stronger finish in the Oaks after dropping off towards the finish in Naas earlier in the month.

Empress Wu (100/1) is another one who will be looking to crack the code for a strong finish at Epsom after she completely tailed off at York two weeks ago. After enjoying a winning run of four races between July and September last year, Polly Pott (100/1) has seen a drastic slide in her form in recent outings.

Ashtanga (100/1) was beaten by favourite Savethelastdance on her last ride at Chester, finishing a huge 29 lengths behind the winner. Fellow outsider Cloudbreaker (100/1) is seeking her second career triumph, having come close on a couple of occasions since her first at Newmarket last July. Rich (125/1) was well beaten on her last ride at Newbury last week, finishing 8/8, nine-and-a-quarter lengths behind winner Warm Heart.

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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