Steve Hughes previews Oaks Day at Epsom on Friday
A small field for the Oaks although as usual Aidan O’Brien is mob-handed. However on this occasion he might just have to give best to Godolphin.
Epsom 2.35: Medburn Dream
A horse that ran up a hat-trick on soft ground in his first three handicaps, Medburn Dream has had an up and down career since. However a change of yards looks like it might have revitalised him and he looks worth following to follow up a recent Windsor win.
He likes to be ridden prominently which is an advantage around this turning track. By far and away his best performance last season came when slamming a field at Lingfield by 9l over this mile trip in June. He lost his way though for his previous yard thereafter.
He moved to current handler Peter Hedger in the autumn and ran better than eighth position suggested on debut as he won his race on the unfavoured near side at Newmarket. Gelded over the winter, he bounced right back to form on his return when making all to win at Windsor. A 6lb rise might not be enough to stop him.
Epsom 4.30: Wild Illusion
Unusually soft ground is anticipated for the Oaks and that is good news for Wild Illusion.
Her round action lends itself well to soft ground and she is very much bred for this trip being out of a dam who ran over as far as 2m. She relished the testing conditions when winning the Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly on Arc day last autumn.
It was to her credit that she got as close as fourth in the 1000 Guineas given the drying ground on a hot day at Newmarket over a trip that simply looked too short for her. This race looks far more suitable and does not look a vintage renewal.
1pt win – Medburn Dream – 2.35 Epsom – 5/1 general
1pt win – Wild Illusion – 4.30 Epsom – 5/2 general