Crockford predicts that Aidan O’Brien will have his Say in the Oaks with his impressive 1000 Guineas third Moth

Moth’s run in the 1000 Guineas placed her in many punters notebooks for the Oaks. She was running on at Newmarket that day and looks to have the stamina and ability to be a Classic contender in the Oaks. O’Brien won the race last year with Was and is double-handed in this renewal with Moth and the progressive filly SaySay will have to improve again if she is to figure in the finish and will probably be outclassed by her rivals.

The purchase of the visually impressive Lingfield winner Secret Gesture has attracted a lot of attention. Qatar Racing picked up their first Classic winner with Just The Judge on Sunday in the Irish 1000 Guineas and hopes to add another with his favourite this afternoon. The key question in Crockford’s mind is, how good is Secret Gesture’s form? What did she really beat that day? It is certain that tougher opposition await her on the Epsom Downs.

Crockford considers the Oaks field:

Banoffee – There is a strong whisper about this unbeaten filly. The way in which Keiron Fallon pulled her up last time suggested that there was still plenty left in the tank. The Hughie Morrison filly certainly has place claims.

Gertrude Versed – Campaigned on the all weather before finishing second to Banoffee. The placings will not be reversed today and it is hard to see her figure.

Liber Nauticus – Highly touted over the Winter and into this Spring. Disappointingly workman-like at York, this Sir Michael Stoute filly will have to improve significantly to have any chance of winning. There are safer bets elsewhere in the field.

Madame Defarge –  Third behind Talent in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket. She ran green that day and could improve still. She has good stamina in her pedigree.

Miss To You – Hard to fancy in this quality field eventhough she finished third in a Group One last season. Beaten easily by Secret Gesture at Lingfield.

Moth – Very progressive this season especially when catching the eye running into third in the 1000 Guineas. Aidan O’Brien supplemented her that day and will certainly be rewarded with at least a place today.

Roz – Competitive in good races last year and slightly disappointing in her debut run this season in the Guineas. Would have to improve but may be overpriced.

Say – Proven to stay and should relish the conditions. Each way shouts and it would not be the biggest surprise if she troubled the frame.

Secret Gesture – Purchased by Qatar Racing after her win at Lingfield. She couldn’t have won that race more easily and could be anything.

Talent – Good winner of the Pretty Polly and could be underrated due to the attention on her stablemate Secret Gesture. Could be pressing for a place at the finish.

The Lark – Whispers surrounding this horse is that the filly will relish the trip and will come on from her race Newbury. Related to the dual Oaks winner Sariska.

Crockford’s Oaks prediction:

1 MOTH

2 BANOFFEE

3 TALENT

Aidan O’Brien will have his say in another English Classic with Moth flying past her rivals in the Oaks

 

(Featured Photograph – Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore at Goodwood by Stuart Rice)