O’Brien to claim another Oaks win?
Aiden O’Brien has 5 of the 9 declared runners for the 2018 Oaks. This obviously gives him a great chance of adding to the 6 times that he has already won this race.
Magic Wand is a horse who has improved with every run. This culminated with a very impressive victory in the Cheshire Oaks. There she won by 3.5l over Forever Together. Whilst this race is another step up the way she won that day shows there is a lot more to come from her. A big plus is that Ryan Moore has plumped for this horse. That for many will be a deciding factor in where their money goes.
As stated earlier Forever Together was defeated by Magic Wand. She is another filly who has steadily improved race by race. She was unlucky in that race at Chester where she was hampered turning for home otherwise she may have got even closer although it is questionable as to whether she would have won. Donnacha O’Brien is on board. He has already won the 2000 Guineas this season for his father Aiden. Can he win a second classic this season?
Bye Bye Baby ran at a career high to win the Blue Wind Stakes at the Curragh last time out. I would question exactly what she beat and would be very surprised if she were to progress and get past her 2 stablemates and others in the race.
Flattering and I Can Fly are the other 2 O’Brien runners in the Oaks.Whilst there was a lot of late money for I Can Fly in the 1000 Guineas she ran poorly and it would take a huge turnaround for her to get involved here. Flattering is likely here to set the pace and it would be a huge shock were she to come home with place money although if the ground were to get heavier her chances would improve.
Other Oaks Contenders
Incredibly despite having over half the field for the 2018 Oaks, Aiden O’Brien does not have the favourite for the race.
That accolade looks likely to go to Charlie Appleby with his filly Wild Illusion.
She was a Group 1 winner as a 2yo at Chantilly on her last run last season. On her re-appearance this year she ran a very creditable 4th in the 1000 Guineas. This is probably the strongest form on offer amongst the field. If she continues to progress then she is certainly the filly to beat. Godolphin are looking to win this race for the first time since 2002. For that reason I would expect they will certainly have this filly at 100% and in William Buick a jockey determined to claim his 1st Classic success.
Clive Cox brings his undefeated filly Perfect Clarity hoping to win his first Oaks. She won the Lingfield trial in a tidy manner dispatching of Flattering by 2.5l (3rd). This is another filly that is improving with every run and it would be no surprise were she to split the Appleby/O’Brien axis.
Oaks Tip of The Day
My 2018 Oaks Tip of the Day is for PERFECT CLARITY E/W
Generally available at 13/2 (check bookmakers for place terms)