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Epsom Oaks betting tips: Dance fancied to maintain O’Brien monopoly

| 02.06.2023

The fillies will take centre stage on Friday and we’re taking a look at the leading contenders for Classic glory in our Epsom Oaks betting tips.

Eleven have been declared to run and champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has another strong hand as he seeks to claim this prize for the fourth straight season and the seventh time in nine renewals.

“Savethelastdance took over as favourite for the Oaks with her runaway Cheshire Oaks victory, and it’s a position she has held ever since, with Soul Sister emerging as her closest market rival following her own impressive trial success, in York’s Musidora,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

“Running Lion and Eternal Hope, also winners of their respective trials at Newmarket and Lingfield, make up a leading quartet of contenders for what could be a top-class renewal of the Classic.”

Here are this year’s market leaders in the Epsom Oaks 2023 odds:

Savethelastdance @ 6/5

It is hard to imagine at this point that O’Brien’s charge began the season by landing a Leopardstown maiden at 20/1 just two months ago. Savethelastdance was an odds-on favourite when next seen in the Cheshire Oaks and justified that new-found faith in spectacular fashion, romping home by 22 lengths. She is out of Daddys Lil Darling, who infamously bolted to post and was withdrawn from Enable’s Oaks in 2017, but it is hoped her daughter will fare better on the Surrey Downs. “You can only be impressed by what she’s done,” beamed Ryan Moore, while O’Brien has backed his “good moving filly” to be just as effective on faster ground.

Soul Sister @ 5/2

This daughter of Frankel is another to have emerged from relative obscurity after sprinting clear in the final furlong to win the Musidora Stakes at York by four lengths when sent off as an 18/1 outsider. John Gosden, who now trains alongside son Thady, is the only handler to have broken O’Brien’s monopoly of this contest in recent years, scoring with Enable and then Anapurna in 2019, while Emily Upjohn was an unlucky second 12 months ago after landing the same York prep race. Dettori declared: “She gave me a great feel, travelled well, quickened twice and won by four lengths. I wasn’t really expecting that!”

Running Lion @ 11/2

Soul Sister’s stablemate oozed class when landing Newmarket’s Pretty Polly Stakes and delighted her connections when working over just shy of a mile at Epsom’s Derby Festival Gallops Morning. Resurgent rider Oisin Murphy has already claimed Classic glory aboard Mawj in the 1000 Guineas this term and is hoping Running Lion’s stamina holds out to give him a first Oaks triumph. Gosden senior commented: “Both the fillies have a lot of speed and are bred to be mile-and-a-quarter fillies. They’ve never worked together, but they both won their trials well, which is great, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the pair of them.”

Eternal Hope @ 12/1

Godolphin’s Appleby-trained filly won the Lingfield Oaks Trial on the all-weather, beating O’Brien’s Be Happy by a length and three-quarters. That was just the third run of her career but having impressed connections in a piece of work on Saturday morning, the decision was made to pay a £30,000 supplementary fee. “She’s a lovely filly who started her career late and can only improve,” said jockey William Buick. Alex Merriam, Appleby’s assistant, added: “She picked up well and did it nicely. It would have been lovely to put her on turf, but she’s suited by a sound surface.”

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All odds and markets correct at date of publication



Tony Kelshaw