Yorkshire Oaks Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 23rd August 2018

It’s Ladies’ Day at the York Ebor meeting this coming Thursday, and as such it only seems right that it is the fine fillies who light up the track in the feature event of the day. Won last year by one of the all-time greats, Enable, the Yorkshire Oaks is one of the top 1m4f events of the season for the fillies and has attracted an excellent field once again.

The Irish have proved tough to beat in this race of late, but the prize did go to a British-trained star 12 months ago, and we fancy it may be more of the same this year.

Top Tips

Sea Of Class to win @ 11/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

1m4f is the trip for this Group 1 contest, set to be run on good to firm going this year and offering £350,000 in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Firm 1m4f Group 1 £350,000 8 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

Open to all fillies and mares aged three and older, the trend has very much been towards the younger performers in recent years. The four most recent editions have been landed by a three year old, with no winner older than four in the past 10 years.

The Irish have certainly held their own of late with four wins in the past decade. The best recent record amongst the trainers belongs to Newmarket’s John Gosden, who has recorded three wins since 2009.

2017 Enable 1/4 John Gosden Frankie Dettori
2016 Seventh Heaven 10/3 Aidan O’Brien Colm O’Donoghue
2015 Pleascach 8/1 Jim Bolger Kevin Manning
2014 Tapestry 8/1 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2013 The Fugue 2/1 John Gosden William Buick

Analysis: Market Leader Looks The Class Act

Even with the late defection of the Epsom Oaks winner, Forever Together, this still looks to be a high-quality renewal, with classy entries from both sides of the Irish Sea.

Coronet, Horseplay and Eziyra fly the flag for the older runners, but it is three of the Classic generation who we see fighting this out this year.

Haggas To Have Rivals All At Sea?

Current favourite for this race is the William Haggas filly, Sea Of Class. This daughter of Sea The Stars has been brought along relatively slowly – she’s the most lightly raced runner in this field – and that patient approach now looks to be reaping its rewards. Winner of three of her four starts to date, she posted her best effort yet last time out in the Irish Oaks.

The bare form of a neck victory over English Oaks winner Forever Together is solid enough, but even more so considering jockey James Doyle never once reached for the whip. It’s hard to know how much more there could be to come, but now rated 115, she’s already the best horse in the field on official ratings.

Laurens To Lead The Way?

Sea Of Class isn’t the only Oaks heroine in this field though, we also have the winner of the French version in the form of the John Dance-owned, Laurens. One of the top fillies around in her juvenile campaign, she has certainly backed up that potential this term. A second in the 1000 Guineas was followed up with wins in a Group 1 at Longchamp, and that Prix De Diane success last time out.

The main question mark against her chances here concerns this step up to 1m4f for the first time. She wouldn’t appear to have copper bottomed stamina on breeding but is admirably tough and tenacious and won’t go down without a fight.

Does O’Brien Have The Magic Touch?

Having won two of the past four editions of this, anything Aidan O’Brien sends in pursuit of the prize is worthy of plenty of respect. The master of Ballydoyle has Flattering, Bye Bye Baby and Magic Wand entered up this year, with the last named of those looking to boast the strongest claims.

Sent off the second favourite for the Oaks, she was no match for stablemate Forever Together that day, although the soft ground would appear to be a legitimate excuse. Back on a sounder surface at Ascot, she promptly trounced the field in the Ribblesdale Stakes. Her effort last time out when beaten nearly 10 lengths in a quick ground Irish Oaks was therefore pretty hard to fathom. She’s talented but does now have questions to answer.

Final Verdict: Sea Of Class To Win

It’s hard to believe Magic Wand isn’t significantly better than she showed last time out, and we would expect her to figure much more prominently here. Even an improved effort may not be enough to account for the market leader though.

Sea Of Class cantered all over her rivals in a Listed contest two starts back and repeated the dose at this level last time out. She travels like a dream, possesses a conclusive turn of foot and looks like being tough to stop.

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