2019 Epsom Oaks Odds and Betting Preview
Following the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, the second leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown series takes place at Epsom on Friday afternoon – 16:30 BST start – in what looks to be an open affair.
A total of sixteen fillies have stood their ground at the latest declaration stage, but with the decision of 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa to head elsewhere for her next run, it gives opportunity for others in Epsom’s blue riband event over twelve furlongs.
The Oaks is the second oldest Classic race after the St. Leger and is the third of five British classics in the horse racing calendar. The race was given its name after a local Epsom estate called The Oaks, what was leased by The Earl of Derby in the late 18th century. The Oaks has gone through many weight class changes since the race’s inauguration back in 1779, but since 1892, each horse has carried the current weight of nine stone.
Bringing things up to date, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Forever Together won last years’ Oaks, with O’Brien’s son, Donnacha in the saddle. It was the Coolmore stable’s fourth win in the last seven years in the race, and it is expected that the Ballydoyle operation will have another strong hand this year.
For anyone who wishes to place their bets before the final declaration stage on Wednesday afternoon, please be aware that no bookmakers are currently offering Non-Runner No Bet on this race. Therefore, if you wish back any horse before the final declarations are announced, you will lose your wager if the horse does not run in the race on Friday afternoon.
In this article, we will look in more detail at some of the leading contenders of this female classic, to try and point our readers in the right direction for a winning bet.
Gosden Strong Hand
Trainer, John Gosden knows exactly what it takes to train the winner of The Oaks, as Taghrooda (2014) and Enable (2017) are former winners of this prestigious event. At the time of writing, Gosden trains the current ante post favourite for this year’s renewal in Mehdaayih and another strong hope in the form of Anapurna.
The jockey bookings for the pair are likely to offer strong clues on the hierarchy of the Gosden duo, with legendary pilot, Frankie Dettori having the pick of the two.
Mehdaayih is unbeaten in her last three starts and shot to prominence in the Oaks betting following her hugely impressive performance in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester recently. Mehdaayih met trouble in running, but she was pulled wide under Robert Havlin and scooted clear to win by over four lengths.
Following the Chester victory, Mehdaayih was supplemented for the Epsom Oaks at a cost of £30,000. Adaptable on all ground conditions, the Gosden filly looks to have solid claims at the best industry odds of 5/2 with Betfred and Totesport.
Anapurna, like Mehdaayih was sired by the legendary Frankel, and she has won her last two outings, with a six-length demolition of the field in the Listed Oaks Trial race at Lingfield earlier this month. Anapurna will obviously have to step-up another level or two to be competitive in this race, but she could be no more impressive on her most recent start. William Hill and Black Type offer the leading price of 8/1, and the filly should be considered as an each-way option at least.
Ballydoyle Benefit Race Again?
Just the five entrants for this season’s Oaks for Aidan O’Brien, and that is extremely likely to be just four following Hermosa’s victory in the Irish 1000 Guineas over the Bank Holiday weekend.
According to the betting at least, the Ballydoyle stable’s leading hope seems to rest with Pink Dogwood, who can be backed with Unibet and Black Type at the best industry price of 3/1.
Pink Dogwood readily won the Listed Salsibil Stakes at Navan last month over ten furlongs, and while the step up in trip is likely to suit, the likely mount of Ryan Moore has questions to answer, but warrants obvious respect.
The O’Brien team is made up with Fleeting (40/1) with William Hill, Delphinia and Peach Tree, who both can be backed at 50/1 with William Hill once again.
Fleeting finished last of 15 runners in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, and her reappearance suggests that that effort can be forgotten.
Delphinia and Peach Tree both showed modest form in their last performances at Naas in a Group 3 contest over ten furlongs. The pair will have to make huge strides forward to get involved here.
Dancing Rain, ridden by Johnny Murtagh was northern trainer, William Haggas’ sole Oaks success back in 2011, but his Maqsad could well be the main danger to all in this years’ renewal.
Maqsad broke her maiden tag back in April over a mile at Newmarket, but she was back to the same venue three weeks later and destroyed her rivals by five lengths in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes over ten furlongs.
Several horses down the years have used this race as their main trial race before being successful in the Oaks itself. The likes of Taghrooda, Talent and Oujia Board have all gone down this route, and Maqsad could well be another. At a generally available price of 7/1, Maqsad is an each-way bet with the potential of grabbing the big prize.
Others to Consider
Amanda Perrett’s Lavender’s Blue has been nibbled at in the betting and is now 16-1 with William Hill after her good second in France against some talented fillies.
Manuela De Vega and Frankellina can be backed at 12-1 and 16/1 respectively after performing well in Oaks trials without winning, while Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa has made steady progress this season and must be respected at 25/1 with Betfred and Totesport.
The two horses I’m prepared to go to war with in this race are Mehdaayih and Maqsad. While Aidan O’Brien has an incredible record at this level all over Europe, I have personal doubts as to the class of his fillies this time around.
Narrow preference is for Mehdaayih to prevail in this race. The owner’s decision to stump up the £30,000 fee to enter the event should not be disregarded, and the daughter of Frankel looks to have solid claims in the race.
At the current prices, a secondary bet can be had on Maqsad at 7/1. Similarly, to Mehdaayih, Maqsad was highly impressive in her most recent start, and could potentially bring home an English 1-2 in the Epsom Oaks.
- Mehdaayih to win the Epsom Oaks at 5/2 with Betfred
- Maqsad each-way at 7/1 with William Hill