Thursday, June 04, 2009

Epsom Oaks & Coronation Cup

This year's Oaks looks rather trappy. Michael Bell's Sariska is market leader on the back of her win in the Musidora at York three weeks ago. The field went no pace in the early stages and the race developed into something of a sprint two from home; tomorrow will be different. Rainbow View was all the rage before the 1,000 Guineas but disappointed, finishing fifth; connections blamed the firm ground for that performance. She is the top-rated animal here and will be a danger to all if back to her best but fast going will once again be a cause for concern. On official handicap ratings Henry Cecil's Midday has enough to find with the front two in the betting; the trainer excels with fillies and has a good record in this race. There has been money for Philipina and I've seen Clive Brittian's Wadaat talked up in places, including by Dick Hunter in the Weekender. This horse was beaten a long way by Midday in the Oaks trial at Lingfield when hold up tactics were blamed for her poor showing. Following that run, she went on to finish second in the Group 2 Italian Oaks twelve days ago. Currently available at 33/1 in places (she has been 66/1 earlier in the week) Wadaat looks worth an each-way interest for those with an adventurous disposition; my idea of the winner is Midday.

Many think the Coronation Cup (2.45) an easier puzzle to solve; I'm not so sure. Mick Channon's course and distance winner Youmzain is clear top-rated and has been the subject of bullish reports from his trainer. Last year's surprise Oaks winner Look Here is returning after a lengthy layoff and, whilst respected, may find this a tough comeback. Youmzain is the one to beat but doesn't offer particularly good value in the betting. At this stage I'm somewhat tempted by Andrew Balding's Buccellati in whom I think there is some improvement to come. The trainer was keen on his charge's chance at Chester prior to the withdrawal of five of the eight runners in the Ormonde. In the event Buccellati won the farcical renewal, with hot favourite Frozen Fire trailling in last of the trio. After that race Balding hinted his charge may have won in any case - I'll consider an each-way interest in Buccellati at around 10/1.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

A great effort from Midday (5/1) but in a rough race she went down a head to Michael Bell's Sariska (9/4f) in a thrilling finish to this year's Oaks. There was plenty of money for Sariska as she opened 7/2 on course. She caused interference with Rainbow View two furlongs out and there was a tense wait of twenty minutes or so before the result was confirmed - winning jockey Jamie Spencer was suspended for five days for careless riding.
I'm not one for excuses but Buccellati (9/1) certainly didn't get the run of the race in the Coronation Cup. Running a close second up the rail over two out, Johnny Murtagh and Frozen Fire closed the door in no uncertain terms on the selection, badly hampering him in the process. The stewards handed Murtagh a five day ban for careless riding. Another thrilling finish here with Ask (5/1) beating Youmzain (2/1f) and Look Here (9/2) a nose and a nose. Given the market principals finished in a heap on the line, I suspect Buccellati wouldn't have made a place with a clear run; nontheless it would have been interesting to have seen how close he would have finished...