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Moth, with Joseph O'Brien up, on the way to winning the Cancer Clinic Research Trust European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

Moth, with Joseph O'Brien up, on the way to winning the Cancer Clinic Research Trust European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

Moth, with Joseph O'Brien up, on the way to winning the Cancer Clinic Research Trust European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

A FIELD of 11 fillies will go to post at Epsom tomorrow for the Investec Oaks in which Aidan O'Brien will look for a fifth win in the race with Irish representatives Moth and Say.

The Ballydoyle trainer landed the race last year with the somewhat surprising winner Was, and since finishing well in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, Moth has been prominent in all lists for this third Classic of the British season.

Despite her prominence in the betting with only Secret Gesture ahead of her in the market, Moth has only won once in four starts, although the form of that Guineas run was fairly well franked by Just The Judge at the Curragh on Sunday.

A 20/1 shot last year, Was gave Seamie Heffernan another memorable win. Heffernan will be on board Say this year, who looks to have a bit to find with a rating of just 92.

It would appear a wide-open race on paper though, with the favourite being two-time winner Secret Gesture, trained by Ralph Beckett.

The daughter of Galileo was a facile winner of the Oaks Trial at Lingfield earlier this month and, on the basis of that effort, really does set the standard.

However, despite some barren years, Kieren Fallon has showed this season, as much as ever, that he still has plenty to offer and the Clare native could be set to outdo his former employer Aidan O'Brien and win this prestigious race for a fifth time.

Fallon has ridden 23 winners in the UK so far this season, compared to a total of 87 last year, and at the recent Chester May Festival proved that he can still be the go-to man for the big occasion.

At Newbury back in April, Richard Hughes won on a filly called Banoffee for Hughie Morrison and, with Hughes not available at Chester, Fallon took over in the Cheshire Oaks.

At one stage, the pair looked as if they wouldn't be mapped near the winner, but, to the credit of Banoffee, having just her second start, she overcame her obvious inexperience and flew home to record a length-and-a-quarter success.

Only three of tomorrow's field have a lower rating than the 93 given to Banoffee, but it was the manner of her victory at Chester that was notable and if she shows the same level of progression on the big stage she may be involved at the business-end.

At first glance, the race doesn't look the strongest Oaks ever run, but don't be surprised if Banoffee is a filly we hear more of this season – starting tomorrow.

CRONIN'S CHOICE - Investec Oaks

1. Banoffee

2. Secret Gesture

3. Moth


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