Tapestry heads 75 Investec Oaks entries
Contenders from Ireland, France and North America feature among the 75 entries for this year's Investec Oaks at Epsom.
Last Updated: 13/03/14 12:44pm
Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien has sent out the winner of the mile and a half Classic four times and the Ballydoyle handler is responsible for 11 contenders this year headed by Tapestry, who is 8/1 favourite with Coral, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.
The daughter of Galileo captured the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh in August before being promoted to second behind the Clive Brittain-trained Rizeena after meeting trouble in running in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the same course in September.
O'Brien's entries also include Group Three scorer Wonderfully, Leopardstown maiden winner Bracelet, Adeste Fideles, a daughter of the 2001 Oaks winner Imagine, plus Dance With Another and Sparrow, whose dams both finished second in the Epsom Downs fillies' Classic.
A total of 19 Irish-trained entries also include My Tatania, who won the Group Three C L Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh in September and represents the same owner/trainer combination of Christopher Tsui and John Oxx that enjoyed Investec Derby success with the filly's sire Sea The Stars in 2009.
Michael Dickinson sent over Wolf Prince from the United States to finish eighth in the 1993 Investec Derby and there could be further American interest at Epsom Downs this year with the Kenny McPeek-trained Rosalind.
The daughter of Broken Vow readily scored on her debut in a mile turf maiden Ellis Park in August before running some excellent races in Pattern company, including a fine second in the Grade One Alcibiades Stakes on the Polytrack of Keeneland and a close third on dirt in the Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.
She kept on to take third on her seasonal return in an allowance race on dirt at Gulfstream Park on February 27.
McPeek reported: "We are seriously considering Rosalind for the Investec Oaks. She is out of a Theatrical mare, has won on the turf and is pretty versatile.
"If she runs well on her next two starts, which are likely to be the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland and the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, then we will seriously look at coming to Epsom.
"A mile and a half is not going to be an issue with her. She's a big filly and I think that she is going to grow into a better horse as a three-year-old. She knocked on the door against some of the best fillies in the nation last year.
"The truth is that she probably should have won the Breeders' Cup but she went to her knees leaving the gate and only got beat half a length. I think that grass is probably her favourite surface but we pursued the dirt angle for the Breeders' Cup and nearly pulled it off.
"I was a little disappointed with her return at Gulfstream Park but I think that the pace of the race worked against her - there wasn't any speed early on and it turned into a bit of a sprint. She kicked home but wasn't able to catch them. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have looked for another race for her.
"It would be pretty exciting to try and pull off the Kentucky Oaks and Investec Oaks double."
France could also be represented in the Investec Oaks with nine entries including Al Ghyzal, who could be a first Epsom Classic runner for Al Shaqab Racing, debut winners Shamkala and Sinnamary, plus Zarshana, who is a Sea The Stars half-sister to a brilliant Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, Zarkava.
Ihtimal, from the stable of Saeed bin Suroor, has already posted a pair Classic wins in Dubai this year and the five Godolphin entries also feature the Charlie Appleby-trained Folk Melody, a daughter of Group One scorer Folk Opera, who made an impressive winning debut at Newmarket.
Ralph Beckett saddled a memorable one-two in last year's race and the trainer may be represented this season by Doncaster maiden winner Regardez, who is out of a half-sister to his 2008 Investec Oaks heroine Look Here.
Andrew Balding sent out Casual Look to glory in the Investec Oaks in 2003 and the trainer has entered her daughter Casual Smile. The Sea The Stars filly went down by a neck to the John Gosden-trained Taghrooda on her latest start at Newmarket in September.
Six entries from Sir Michael Stoute include Sea The Bloom, a daughter of Group One winner Red Bloom, and a pair of fillies owned by The Queen - Shama and Queen's Prize.
Other notable entries include the Charlie Hills-trained Cambridge and Amazing Maria, who was the decisive winner of a Group Three contest at Goodwood for Ed Dunlop in August.