Investec Oaks stats
The last three winners of the Investec Oaks all have plenty in common.
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All were returned at 20/1, had raced no more than three times, were unraced beyond 10 furlongs and untried above Group Three level – indeed, two hadn’t run above Listed level.
This profile is not out of keeping with a typical Oaks winner with none of the last 10 having tested their stamina beyond 10 furlongs and only one winner had run at the top level before.
It is perhaps, therefore, not so surprising to see relatively unfancied runners walking off with the Classic given their scope for progress and it’s worth noting Ryan Moore’s comments when diplomatically answering questions about prospective Derby rides that ‘horses can change in a week at this time of year’.
Honor Bound best fits that profile this time around and, given that she’s a half-sister to Treasure Beach who was beaten a nose by Pour Moi before winning the Irish Derby, she certainly looks the part on paper if one can forgive the underwhelming reaction in the immediate aftermath of the Lingfield Oaks Trial.
Ralph Beckett has successfully used that route to Epsom before while the Swettenham Stud Stakes (Volume), the Musidora (Madame Chiang), Pretty Polly (Taghrooda), Height of Fashion Stakes (Marsh Daisy), Blue Wind Stakes (Tarfasha) and Cheshire Oaks (Anipa) are also represented.
The 1000 Guineas has by no means been a bad guide over the years despite not having provided a winner in the last decade. Casual Look finished sixth at 50/1 at Newmarket while Kazzia won both races for Godolphin the previous year.
It will take a leap of faith to support either Tapestry or Bracelet after they could finish only 14th and 16th at Newmarket although the form is working out to a degree with the 13th and 15th Listed placed next time, the 11th and 4th winning and the runner-up filling the same position in the Irish 1000.
Marvellous won that race and, of the Aidan O’Brien runners, all the support has been for her following that impressive victory and Imagine did complete the double for Ballydoyle in 2001 although her appearance at Epsom was the tenth, and final, start of her career.
Eswarah was the last successful unbeaten filly (and also the last not to have raced as a juvenile) and her owner is represented by Taghrooda and Tarfasha.
John Gosden’s filly is by a Derby winner and out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and should relish this step up in distance.
Recent winners have been sired by a mixed assortment of stallions (as far as stamina indices are concerned) with Pivotal, Intikhab and Cape Cross accompanying more recognised stamina influences such as Galileo, New Approach, Hernando and Sadler’s Wells.
There’s not, therefore, a cast iron case to be made in terms of pedigree on the stats but Taghrooda certainly can’t be marked down on that score and could hardly have been more impressive when winning the Pretty Polly.
The form hasn’t worked out but there’s an old line or two that could be trotted out about that and, while you certainly couldn’t rule the likes of Volume, Honor Bound and Anipa finding sufficient improvement, Taghrooda could just prove to be a little special.
Investec Oaks 10 year stats
- Winners have been priced between 9/4 and 33/1 with three winning favourites (including one joint).
- Winners have been drawn between 2 and 15 with six between 2 and 7.
- Nine winners finished either first or second on their previous start; the exception (Was) was third of six in a Group Three.
- Seven winners had won a race during the current season.
- Winners had had between two and seven career starts.
- Six winners hadn't finished out of the frame during their career.
- None of the winners made their debut before June of their juvenile season.
- None of the winners had previously raced over 12f.
- Nine of the winners hadn't previously tackled a Group One; the exception was placed at that level.