Love bids to follow up her 1,000 Guineas triumph in the Oaks at Epsom on Saturday. A total of 48 fillies have completed the Classic double, the most recent being Minding in 2016. Can Love find a way to join them?
Love’s trainer Aidan O’Brien also runs Ribblesdale Stakes second and third Ennistymon and Passion. O’Brien has won the Oaks seven times, the most recent being Together Forever in 2018. An eighth victory would put him level with Alec Taylor, who trained eight Oaks winners between 1910 and 1926.
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori have teamed up to win two of the last three Oaks – Enable in 2017 and Anapurna last year. This time they have Frankly Darling, the Ribblesdale winner, in which she beat Ennistymon and Passion. Gosden also has Tiempo Vuela, a winner of her only start at two but unplaced in Newmarket’s Pretty Polly Stakes last month.
Roger Varian also runs two, Pretty Polly runner-up Queen Daenerys and Gold Wand. The latter looked good when winning a 10-furlong Newbury maiden on 11 June.
Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Ribblesdale Stakes fourth Bharani Star rounds out the eight-runner field.
CAN LOVE SURVIVE THE OAKS TRIP?
That’s the big question. She’s by Galileo but out of a mare who only ran once at a mile and whose sire, Pivotal, was a sprinter. However, Galileo is the main influence here. Love’s two full-sisters, Flattering and Peach Tree, have won Group 3 races at a mile and a half and a mile and six furlongs respectively. On that basis, Love should stay the trip.
However, Frankly Darling already has proven Group 2 winning form over the Oaks trip.
So, can Love tear apart her Oaks rivals? Is Love the one you’re with or will it be a Love come down? Frankly Darling, I’ll take the Gosden filly to spoil the Love story.