Anthony Oppenheimer’s next big star, Frankly Darling, will be headline news on Saturday when she shows the world what she is made of by taking the Oaks at Epsom.
The Hascombe and Valiant Studs operation have been dining at the top table regularly in recent times and this filly looks like another meal ticket to greater stardom. The daughter of Frankel made light work of dispatching her rivals when triumphing in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and she can step up to the plate again.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Love is bidding to become the first filly since Minding in 2016 to win both the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks. After her impressive four and a quarter lengths victory over the Rowley Mile, she was installed as the antepost favourite for this race.
Worryingly though for her supporters is that the second, third and fourth from the 1,000 Guineas all flopped next time out and Love wasn’t a very consistent two-year-old, so is no certainty to follow up.
The unbeaten Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned pairing of Raabihah and Tawkeel have been all the rage in the ante-post betting for this race but one of them – or perhaps both, will have to lose their unblemished record on Sunday afternoon.
Raabihah showed her credentials with an emphatic success in the Listed Prix de la Seine at Longchamp, while Tawkeel picked up effortlessly and went away from her rivals in the closing stages of the Prix Saint-Alary over a distance just shy of the Diane course at Chantilly.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained duo may have the most to fear from the supplemented Miss Extra who has clocked up a trio of wins already this season and has always looked like a stamina laden filly. Trainer’s Pia and Joakim Brandt know her ceiling and they can hopefully recoup their outlay and more besides by lifting this Group One.
It’s highly significant that Andre Fabre and Coolmore have decided to run Ocean Atlantique in the Prix du Jockey Club rather than sending him to Epsom for the Derby and he can score in France at the expense of stablemate, Victor Ledorum.
Victor Ledorum appears to hold all the aces but this son of American Pharoah is very useful too.