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Clash of the generations in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks

22 Aug 2012

The first three plus the unlucky sixth in the Investec Oaks take on three high class older rivals over a mile and a half in race six in the QIPCO British Champions Series Fillies & Mares division.

Was won the Investec Oaks for trainer Aidan O’Brien, but will she be able to confirm that form in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks with the fillies who chased her home at Epsom? Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks is invariably very strong and this year’s race, number six in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares division and due off at 3.40pm tomorrow (Thursday), is no exception.

The first three home in the Investec Oaks, Was, Shirocco Star and The Fugue, together with the unlucky Coquet, who ended up in sixth but would surely have gone close with a clear run, will fly the flag for the three-year-old generation.

They are up against three classy older fillies, last year’s Arc runner-up, Shareta, last year’s QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes runner-up, Bible Belt, and recent Goodwood winner Wild Coco.

The Fugue looks to be a worthy favourite as she also looked unlucky in the Oaks having been almost brought down early in the race and there is every reason to expect her to confirm the form of the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month when she comfortably beat Was.

That race was over two furlongs less than today’s trip, however, and Was may be seen to better effect this afternoon.

Shirocco Star is entitled to go well after finishing third in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and second in the Irish Oaks, but so too is her stable companion Coquet, who was not only hampered early in the Investec Oaks, but again two furlongs out, yet she ran on really well to be beaten less than six lengths.

Shareta is the best of the older trio on form and her Arc run last year was very good, even if she was five lengths behind the brilliant Danedream. She’s been running well this year too and must go close.

Bible Belt has yet to recapture the form she showed at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day last year when runner-up to last year’s Investec Oaks heroine Dancing Rain, while Wild Coco is stepping up to the top level for the first time in her career after winning impressively at Goodwood last time after almost a year off the track.

It promises to be an intriguing clash between the generations on day two of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival and the winner could well be QIPCO British Champions Day-bound on 20 October as all seven runners are entered in this year’s renewal of the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, the final race in the division. 

For the Darley Yorkshire Oaks race details and card, CLICK HERE.