Coronet has something to find on collateral form with other runners but is a progressive filly who can win the Oaks at Epsom today. Aidan O’Brien is looking to continue his clean sweep of the Classics in Britain and Ireland this season but the horse he trains, Rhododendron, looks too short for the Oaks.
Horseplay won a maiden at Nottingham last autumn so it is a huge step up in class to win this race. Enable won the Cheshire Oaks at Chester in some style so is a leading contender for a race that will have a maximum field of ten runners but some depth.
Rhododendron is the right favourite but I’d be a layer rather than a backer around the 10/11 mark. The horse had no luck in running in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket but was soundly beaten by Winter who has since won the Irish equivalent. There is nothing wrong with the form and a winner is a winner but the price is too short.
John Gosden will have a handle on the relative form of the fillies this season and he has not been scared off by Rhododendron. He trains Daban who was a neck adrift of Rhododendron in the Guineas so must have an idea about the prospects for his horses to beat the favourite in the Oaks.
Gosden trains Enable who is the shortest priced of his pair. He won the Oaks with Taghrooda in 2014 so knows what it takes to win the Premier Classic for female horses. The trainer is happy with Enable who Frankie Dettori rides. The jockey has the first choice so presumably, he rejected Coronet in favour of the second favourite.
Gosden and Dettori won the Derby with Golden Horn in 2015. The trainer has won 8 British Classics in total and Frankie has won 16 including the Oaks in 1994, 1995 and 2002. The combination has never won an Oaks and Enable is their best chance to date.
Tony McCoy missed out on a Champion Hurdle by choosing to ride My Tent Or Yours rather than Jezki in 2014 and something similar could happen to Dettori. Enable is the form pick over Coronet but young fillies can mature and progress at a great rate. Often form on the gallops does not transfer to the track.
Coronet finished almost five lengths behind Sobetsu in France in May. That was a decent effort at Group 1 level and there could be plenty of improvement to come. Sobetsu goes to Epsom rather than running in the French Oaks and that could be a tip in itself. The horse will like the ground at Epsom today.
Coronet has a BHA rating of 101 while Sobetsu’s mark is 98 but the Racing Post rate the latter as the better horse. Coronet came back from a long way to finish third in France. Gosden says she has come on for the race and the 12 furlongs of the Oaks will suit her attributes.
Dettori could be doing a flying dismount after the Oaks but a more likely scenario is a win for O’Brien and Rhododendron but Coronet is the pick at the price.
Tip: Coronet to win the Oaks (Epsom 4:30 pm) at 10/1 with William Hill.