Friday 20 April 2018

Found heads Oaks squad for O'Brien


Ante-post favourite Found is one of the star names among 59 entries for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 5.

Aidan O'Brien's stoutly-bred daughter of Galileo struck twice from three starts as a juvenile and ended her campaign with victory in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp in October.

The master of Ballydoyle has saddled four previous winners of the mile-and-a-half Classic and Found is just one of 11 possible challengers this time around, with Fillies' Mile heroine Together Forever, Qualify and Words also in contention.

Other notables among the 20 Irish-trained entries include Edward Lynam's Agnes Stewart and the Jessica Harrington-trained Jack Naylor, while five possible French representatives are headed by the Andre Fabre-trained Al Naamah.

Another from across the Channel is Little Nightingale

The three-year-old looked the part on her seasonal reappearance at Maisons-Laffitte at the start of the month and could be a first Oaks runner for Mikel Delzangles, who won the 2000 Guineas in 2010.

"Little Nightingale has come out of Maisons-Laffitte very well," said the trainer.

"It was a good performance because she beat a nice German filly very easily. We thought she was a good filly anyway because she had been working very well going into that race.

"Little Nightingale will run once more and then we will decide if she goes for the Oaks or to Chantilly for the Prix de Diane (June 14).

"The trials are the Prix Cleopatre (May 13) going left-handed at Saint-Cloud, which could be a good prep race for Epsom, or the Prix Vanteaux (May 3) and Prix Saint-Alary (May 24) at Longchamp."

Doncaster maiden winner Star Of Seville is the shortest-priced British-trained entry and is one of seven contenders for Newmarket trainer John Gosden, who landed the spoils with Taghrooda in 2014. His septet also includes debut winners Jellicle Bell and Lady Correspondent.

The Investec Oaks has increased prize money of £450,000, £25,000 more than in 2014.

Press Association

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