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Champions Series Dark Horses for 2018: Liquid Amber

8 Mar 2018

In the latest of our weekly series we consider the merits of a filly chalked up at 33-1 for the Investec Oaks

Willie McCreery and Billy Lee enjoyed Group 1 success with Fiesolana in the 2014 Matron Stakes. Picture:


Form: 21 Trainer: Willie McCreery

Aidan O’Brien raised the bar in 2017 when he enjoyed a record-breaking 28 Group 1 winners.

The master of Ballydoyle did suffer the odd minor hiccup along the way, though, including in the Group 3 Flame Of Tara Stakes at the Curragh in late August.

O’Brien was represented by Ballet Shoes, who had outstanding form claims and went off the 2-7 favourite, and Bye Bye Baby, who had shown promise on her debut a fortnight earlier.

However, neither proved a match for Liquid Amber, who travelled well and forged five lengths clear of Ballet Shoes in the final furlong of the mile contest.

The daughter of Kitten’s Joy, ridden by Billy Lee, was more than confirming the promise of her debut in a maiden at the Curragh just eight days later and hinted she could make an impact at an even higher level in the autumn.

Willie McCreery, her trainer, instead opted to put her away for the year and if nothing else it means Classic dreams for her are still firmly intact.

Where Liquid Amber resurfaces remains to be seen but it would be no surprise if her connections work backwards from the Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 1.

Stamina looked very much her main asset when she pulled clear at the Curragh and her dam, Pachattack, was successful at up to a mile and a half.

And McCreery and Lee have combined for Group 1 glory with a filly in the past, courtesy of Fiesolana in the 2014 Matron Stakes

William Hill and Paddy Power quote Liquid Amber at 33-1 for the Oaks. Other firms have not priced her up at all.