Santa Barbara leads 14 fillies in pursuit of Oaks glory | Race news
Outpost favorite Santa Barbara is one of 14 fillies declared for the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom on Friday.
The Camelot filly made a strong impression when she won her racetrack debut at the Curragh in September and was a major bet for last month’s 1000 Guineas at Newmarket amid scintillating training reports on Ballydoyle’s gallops.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge had to settle for minor fourth-place honors on the Rowley Mile, but is once again strongly keen to claim classic glory on the second attempt.
Santa Barbara is joined by four stable companions in Snowfall, Divinely, Willow and La Joconde. Snowfall earned its place with a victory in the Musidora Stakes in York, while Lingfield Oaks Trial, fourth Divinely, enjoyed significant market support this week.
Archie Watson’s Sherbet Lemon, Roger Varian’s Save A Forest and Hugo Palmer’s Ocean Road finished first, second and third at Lingfield and are in contention again.
Varian has a particularly strong hand, with Teona, third in the Musidora Stakes, and Zeyaadah, runner-up from Cheshire Oaks.
Mark Johnston saddles the Cheshire Oaks winner Dubai Fountain while Saffron Beach is reinforced by Jane Chapple-Hyam after finishing second in the 1000 Guineas.
The technique trained by Martyn Meade and the completed Mystery Angel, trained by George Boughey, complete the pitch.
Members of the Nick Bradley Racing union who owns Mystery Angel, who finished fourth in the Musidora, raised £ 22,500 to add him to the field earlier in the week and are hoping for a daring performance after a pleasant gallop at Epsom last week .
Bradley said: “It feels like a stronger race than we would have liked but we are where we are.
“The track will be fine and she looks to be in really good shape – she’s in better shape at home than she was going to York.
“It looks a bit overpriced right now, I think. We hope for a good race.”