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Oaks Trial Stakes (14.20 Lingfield): Smile can turn on the style

| 10.05.2014

Some unexposed and potentially exciting fillies go to post, but Casual Smile boasts some rock solid form to her name and is going to be hard to beat.

Trained by Andrew Balding, the daughter of Sea The Stars is out of Oaks winner Casual Look and shaped with plenty of promise to be placed in three runs as a juvenile.

The pick of those came on Casual Smile’s final start last season, where she went down by just a neck to Tagrhooda in a 14-runner 1m maiden at Newmarket.

The winner has since gone on to land an impressive six length success in the Pretty Polly Stakes at headquarters, and is currently the 5/2 market leader with Coral for the Ivestec Oaks at Epsom on Friday, June 6th.

That is very strong form which sets a high standard in this line-up, and granted normal improvement makes Casual Smile the one they all have to beat.

Trainer Ralph Beckett won this 12 months ago with subsequent Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture last year, and the pick of his three-pronged attack this time round looks to be Moonrise Landing judged on jockey bookings.

The daughter of Dalakhani, who is partnered by Jim Crowley, made an impressive winning debut on the all-weather surface at this venue back in March.

After being held-up in touch, Moonrsie Landing made smooth headway to track the front pair to from home before showing a nice turn of foot to lead inside the last and beat El Najmm by a cosy 1 1/4 lengths.

What that form amounts to is questionable, but there was lots to like about the manner in which Moonrise Landing went about her business and further improvement looks assured.

Another potential big improver worthy of the utmost respect is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Queen’s Prize.

The well-bred filly, who is owned by The Queen, comes into the contest on the back of a winning debut over 7f on the all-weather surface at Kempton.

The daughter of Dansili looked in need of the experience, but stayed on well to lead inside the last and win by a length.

Queen’s Prize was well on top at the finish, and the step up in trip looks sure to suit.

With the in-form Ryan Moore in the saddle, she looks poised to run a big race for a yard that has a decent record in the contest.



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.