The expression dead cert was coined in relation to a running of the Oaks in the nineteenth century. Crockford’s filly duly obliged that day as he thinks his selection will this Friday in the third classic of the season. The defeat of Homecoming Queen on Sunday in the Irish 1000 Guineas has got everyone questioning the form books and looking twice at the early season rain soaked ground. Another O’Brien filly heads the market for the Oaks – Maybe. Her form was solid last season and she may not of relished the ground at Newmarket leading to the market confidence that there is for her now.

However, Crockford believes that a mixture of the ground, trip and an unlucky run belied the form of another in the Newmarket classic- John Gosden’s The Fugue. Her demolition of the O’Brien fancy Twirl in the Musidora at York when the ground and distance came right gives Crockford the confidence to call her a dead certainity and at 3/1 with Ladbrokes she looks an attractive price. O’Brien does have a strong hand in the race with other fillies such as Kissed also potentially lining up and the value in his string does seem to be the 40/1 each way that you can get about Twirl.

Just as for Crockford and his gambling friends in the 1840’s perhaps the dead cert does not lie in the shape of a Derby fancy (Camelot) but in that of a filly, The Fugue, in the Oaks.

Can she come to haunt us as she runs away from the field down the Epsom straight? Crockford thinks so.