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Oaks likely to end up in familiar hands

Oaks likely to end up in familiar hands

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Trainers Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have taken the last five Epsom Oaks renewals and it’s very tough to imagine they won’t add to that tally on Friday.

The star pair account for six of the 14 runners declared and, while he’s outnumbered numerically, Gosden may have the upper hand with his recent Chester scorer.

Mehdaayih to win @ 11/4

Gosden has snared this prize with both Taghrooda and Enable recently and his daughter of Frankel is fancied to add to the tally. Mehdaayih is improving with her racing and blitzed her rivals when taking the Cheshire Oaks in May.

The way she handled the Roodee strongly suggests she’ll be fine on the Epsom track. She didn’t have the clearest of runs that afternoon but, once getting her chance, she was able to shoot clear of her rivals.

Frankie Dettori, stable jockey, went against her at Chepstow and so Rab Havlin keeps the ride here. The owners have rewarded him and, together with his filly, he can repay the faith en route to his first Group 1-winning ride.

Pink Dogwood to win @ 5/2

The main contender from the Ballydoyle string, now confirmed as the mount of Ryan Moore, Pink Dogwood is a sister to Irish Derby winner Latrobe and went close to a Group 1 score in the Marcel Boussac in the autumn.

She showed a nice turn of foot to win a Listed race at Navan on her return to action but surely must improve on the bare form to land this prestigious prize.

While her trainer is much-respected, the Camelot filly appears a bit short in the betting.

Maqsad each-way @ 7/1

Having come into this season winless, imposing filly Maqsad now looks set to give trainer William Haggas a live contender in the Oaks, following her demolition job on her Pretty Polly rivals at Newmarket last time out, her second success of this new season at Headquarters.

She swatted them aside and the form has already been boosted. There should be plenty more to come from the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned contender.

Lavender’s Blue each-way @ 16/1

Nobody has ridden more winners at Epsom in the last five years than Silvestre De Sousa and the champion jockey takes the steer on board the progressive and likeable Lavender’s Blue here.

A daughter of Sea The Stars, she only won her maiden first-time out in April and has since given Queen Power something to think about in a Listed race at Newbury. The step up from 1m2f to 1m4f looks likely it will bring about further improvement and she’s an interesting outsider.

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Enda McElhinney Our racing expert, Enda studies cards in both England and Ireland on a daily basis and knows all the details you need to know when trying to select a winner. He is also a regular football writer and has strong knowledge of the Scottish game, with golf another specialised sport on his CV.

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