By Enda McElhinney
Emily Upjohn is the 5/4 favourite in the latest Epsom Oaks odds
It’s an extra-long Bank Holiday Weekend in the UK with Platinum Jubilee fever in the air and there’s Classic action to savour at Epsom both today and tomorrow.
First up will be the Fillies in the Cazoo Oaks at 4.30pm (17h30 SA time) on Friday afternoon, with a certain Frankie Dettori attempting to win for the fourth time in six years.
Our expert has a selection and next best in The Oaks in the preview below.
Epsom, Friday, 4.30pm (17h30 SA Time) – Epsom Oaks 2022 odds
Odds are courtesy of Sky Bet, correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
Emily Upjohn @ 5/4
Nashwa @ 9/2
Concert Hall @ 7/1
Tuesday @ 7/1
With The Moonlight @ 7/1
Tranquil Lady @ 14/1
Thoughts Of June @ 16/1
Rogue Millennium @ 20/1
Bar @ 25/1
Emily heads field of 11 Oaks contenders
A field of 11 fillies were left standing following final declarations on Wednesday, ensuring The Oaks of 2022 will have three fewer runners compared to when Snowfall won under Dettori for Aidan O’Brien last year.
The master of Ballydoyle has Concert Hall, The Algarve, Thoughts Of June and Tuesday in the mix, with riding arrangements still to be confirmed.
It’s Emily Upjohn that spearheads the betting for John and Thady Gosden however at around evens.
The Sea The Stars filly won a lowly Wolverhampton novice in November on her debut at odds of 12/1, something not uncommon for Team Gosden, but has been really impressive in two turf runs this spring.
She stretched nearly 10 lengths clear at Sandown in April, with as many as four next-time-out winners down the field behind her.
That was enough to ensure odds-on favouritism for York’s Musidora Stakes, upped to 1m2½f last month and she again won that in fine style with The Algarve a distant fourth.
She merits her spot in the betting and looks sure to relish this longer trip. With Dettori on board, their chance is a strong one.
No fluke in June’s Chester success
It’s rare to find Aidan O’Brien runners in the Moyglare Stud colours but that’s what we have with aptly-named THOUGHTS OF JUNE, winner of last month’s Cheshire Oaks at Chester.
She was given a masterclass of a ride by Ryan Moore, leading for much of the way before kicking for home on the final bend and just managing to repel the late challenge of Above The Curve, the Joseph O’Brien-trained runner-up on the day.
Though Moore’s partner was flat to the boards late on, she always looked to be holding something in reserve and that Chester form looks strong as the second has since won the Group1 Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp.
Thoughts Of June was of course avenging her Leopardstown second to the same rival in a maiden in April on seasonal comeback.
She took a big step forward from first-to-second run this season and may well do so again. Handling Chester bodes well for Epsom and given her willingness to race positively, punters should get a run for their money.
She’s around the 16/1 mark currently, though that price will contract plenty should Ryan Moore’s name appear beside her on the racecard. Even if Moore bypasses, it’s a well-proven fact that Ballydoyle’s perceived first-string aren’t assured of holding sway given the sheer depth of talent at O’Brien’s disposal.
Selection: Thoughts Of June @ 16/1 with Sky Bet
Rogue to give Mitchell a big spin
Rider Jack Mitchell grew up adjacent to Epsom racecourse and has talked this week of being at the bottom of the lawn in his childhood to see the runners go by in the Classics, then racing back inside to see the finish on the television.
He’s come a long way since and will ride for the first time in an Epsom Classic on ROGUE MILLENNIUM on Friday afternoon.
The Dubawi filly won on debut at Wetherby as recently as April and has since gone and bagged the Lingfield Oaks Trial – a race won by Anapurna en route to taking this in 2019.
That was a big step forward from first-to-second outing and connections will be more than hopeful there’s more to come. She will have learned plenty from coming to grab Mystic Wells in the dying embers at Lingfield and could well outrun her price in The Oaks given her rate of progress.
Selection: Rogue Millennium @ 20/1 with Sky Bet
Picture: Emily Upjohn: impressed at Sandown (Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos))