Epsom: Savethelastdance Readied For Oaks Bid

Savethelastdance | racingfotos.com


Aidan O'Brien has the key member of the G1 Betfred Oaks again as the certain favourite Savethelastdance (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) drew stall four for the Epsom Classic, which will have 11 starters on Friday. Taking out a trio at Wednesday's final stage including the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies' Trial S. scorer Warm Heart (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the Ballydoyle handler left the smart duo Be Happy (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) and Red Riding Hood (Ire) (Justify) in support of the impressive Listed Cheshire Oaks winner. “You don't take anything for granted, it's a different track and different ground so it's going to be very interesting for us all, O'Brien said of the filly who dazzled in the mud at Chester. “She'll be leaving this evening and that's gone fine, so we hope everything goes well between now and the race.”

“It's going to be very exciting to see what she does do,” he added. “When you go up in distance there are a lot of different things that can happen. If you looked at her pedigree, you'd say 'definitely not soft ground', but she bends her knee a little bit and she rises her feet which helped her to handle it. It's going to be very interesting to see how she fares on totally different ground. She just kept accelerating at Chester and I think that makes it unusual, so we're looking forward to the Oaks the same as everyone else.”

O'Brien's Epsom record suggests the outsiders have to be taken seriously, especially with both the remaining entries having placed in pattern races. “Red Riding Hood will take her time, she has blinkers on her and she doesn't concentrate much when she gets to the front,” he continued. “Be Happy ran well at Lingfield and we were very happy with that run, the pace was a bit slower than we would have liked for her but we've been very happy with her since then.”


Not On Her Dance Card…
Wednesday's other notable withdrawal was Jaber Abdullah's Dance In The Grass (GB) (Cracksman {GB}) from the Charlie Johnston stable, leaving the opposition to Savethelastdance headed by Lady Bamford's G3 Musidora S. winner Soul Sister (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) who has drawn the “lucky” stall 10 as Frankie Dettori's final Oaks ride. Fellow John and Thady Gosden-trained Running Lion (GB) (Roaring Lion) is in the largely-unfavourable stall two, with the inside draw considered a major hindrance even allowing for the recent Epsom performances of Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), Westover (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Tuesday (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).


Quality Quintet For Coronation Cup…
Friday's G1 Dahlbury Coronation Cup looks a high-class affair, with the quintet including Juddmonte's G1 Irish Derby hero Westover (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and the fellow group 1 winners Emily Upjohn (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and Hurricane Lane (Ire) (Frankel {GB}). Aidan O'Brien looks to TDN Rising Star Point Lonsdale (Ire) (Australia {GB}), who has captured the G3 Alleged S. and G2 Huxley S. in two 4-year-old starts. “We think a mile and a half will suit him well and we knew a mile and a quarter would be tight for him around Chester last time, but we wanted to run him there to try and sharpen him up,” he explained. “He went there to learn about going quicker on a left-handed track and we think it worked. From day one, he's looked like a horse who's crying out to go this kind of a trip.”

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