A field of nine go to post for Friday’s Group One Investec Oaks at Epsom (4.30pm) and if the bookmakers are right about Minding the other eight shouldn’t even bother turning up.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly is a best-priced 10/11 with Betway to claim victory on the Downs, but there are just too many negatives to take such a prohibitive price.
She was given a tough time of things in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh just a couple of weeks ago when she finished second behind Jet Setting at 4/11.
It later emerged that she banged her head when leaving the stalls and although connections clearly feel she has recovered from her exertions, it’s far from the perfect preparation.
Epsom has received plenty of rain this week and the ground is certain to be good-to-soft at best.
That raises further doubts about Minding’s chances as there are some serious stamina concerns on the dam’s side of her pedigree.
There’s no doubting she’s the class filly in the line-up, and her ability may shine through, but she is simply too short for me.
But don’t stray away from the O’Brien camp as stablemate SOMEHOW looks a far more interesting proposition at 9/1 with Betway.
She needed every yard when landing the Cheshire Oaks under Ryan Moore back in May, despite looking green at times.
That greenness is a small worry, but she is sure to improve for the run and there are no question marks over either the ground or her stamina.
She tackled a tricky Chester course well and with a Leopardstown win on heavy to her name already this year, further rain would not prove a problem.
O’Brien enjoyed a 1-2-3 in the English 1,000 Guineas with Minding, Ballydoyle and Alice Springs finishing in that order, and it would be no surprise to see him dominate again.
Seventh Heaven, O’Brien’s third entry, followed up her maiden win at Dundalk with victory in the Lingfield Oaks trial in May, despite Moore claiming she hated the course.
There doesn’t look a lot between her and Hugo Palmer’s runner Architecture, yet Seventh Heaven is a much bigger price and looks decent each-way value at 16/1.
Skiffle may prove best of the rest having been supplemented by Godolphin at a cost of £75,000 earlier this week.
She was as big as 14/1 last week, and has since been backed into as short as 5/1, but her inexperience is enough to put me off having only seen the racecourse twice.
INVESTEC OAKS 1-2-3