1pt win Ezeliya 5/1, 1pt win Forest Fairy @7/1, 16:30 Epsom, Friday

1m4f (1m4f6y) Betfred Oaks (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo)

I’m not sure it’s a vintage renewal of the Oaks at Epsom on Friday and historically the fillies from the O’Brien or Gosden yard have been a dominant force in the race for the best part of a decade. Whilst the Gosdens dont have a runner, Coolmore have the favourite, Ylang Ylang, who seemed to be crying out for a trip when running pretty well in the 1000 Guineas last month.

Ylang Ylang was a Group 1 winner as a juvenile, but she hardly looks like a world-beater based on her form to date whilst it’s also not a given that she is going to see out this 1m 4f trip like a thorough stayer.

Frankly, it’s difficult to be overly confident or excited about any of the form connected with the Oak entries this year, but the most exciting unxposed fillies that seem likely to stay the trip are EZELIYA and FOREST FAIRY.

Dermot Weld hasn’t trained a winner of the Oaks for nearly 40 years. But he only tends to run horses that he thinks can actually win. Ezeliya has some of the best form on offer having won a Group 3 over 1m 2f at Navan on her seasonal reappearance. That performance suggested that she would improve for a step up in trip and I liked the way she came home strongly on the outside for Chris Hayes, looking well on top at the finish against a decent bunch. That form looks pretty strong with the second finishing fifth in the Irish 1000 Guineas whereas the fifth at Navan ran very well to go close in a Listed race behind what I think could be a good horse from Jessica Harrington’s yard.

Ezeliya looks quite uncomplicated and might just be the Group 1 star lurking in this average field.

The other one worth backing, Forest Fairy, has just had the two starts so far and she is unbeaten. Having started out on the all-weather in a maiden she came on hugely to win the Cheshire Oaks next time out. That is not always the strongest pointer for this race and whilst the form might be a little suspect, the way she came home to win after getting boxed in demonstrated a strong of turn as well as a resilient mentality. Forest Fairy is out of the first crop of yearlings by Arc winner, Waldgeist, so she should have no problem with cut in the ground or seeing out this trip. Forest Fairy looks like a very unexposed first-string runner for Ralph Beckett, who trains four in here, and he is a trainer that is worth following at the minute.

Neither filly are particulalry unfancied, but the support for the favourite means you can back them both at decent single figure odds which feels like the right play in this.

1pt win Ezeliya 5/1, 16:30 Epsom, Friday
1pt win Forest Fairy @7/1, 16:30 Epsom, Friday

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