Epsom Oaks Tips: Take on Emily Upjohn with this big priced filly

Who will be the latest filly to etch their name on the Oaks roll of honour?
Who will be the latest filly to etch their name on the Oaks roll of honour?

There will be a field of 11 fillies lining up for the 2022 Cazoo Oaks, which is the feature race at Epsom Downs on Friday afternoon, and all eyes will be on the red-hot favourite Emily Upjohn, who bids for glory for the deadly trio of John & Thady Gosden and Frankie Dettori. We preview the Group 1 Classic here and pick out our best bet for the event here...

Once raced as a juvenile, Emily Upjohn kicked off her career with a narrow win at Wolverhampton, but she showed her Derby credentials in her first run this season as she sauntered to a runaway nine-and-a-half length victory in a Sandown Park novice stakes in April. Upped in grade next time out, the daughter of former Derby hero Sea The Stars was sent to the Musidora Stakes at York, and she annihilated some smart rivals in that Group 3 contest - winning the event by over five lengths.

Showing a sparkling turn of foot to put the race to bed in a matter of strides that day on the Knavesmire, Emily Upjohn then saw out the ten-furlong distance comfortably, so a step up to the Oaks trip of a mile-and-a-half shouldn't see her stretched, and so it's no surprise to see her currently trading as a 5/4 favourite. Having shown no chinks in her armour yet, the Gosden raider appears to have all the attributes required to land this prize, and providing she can take to the occasion and deal with the idiosyncratic Epsom track then she looks a very tough nut to crack.

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Aidan O'Brien has a staggering record in the Oaks winning the coveted crown on nine occasions, and the master of Ballydoyle will yet again unleash a strong battalion at this year's event with a four-pronged attack heading over from Ireland.

Well backed for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of the season, Tuesday could only finish third in that one-mile Classic, while she was no match for Homeless Songs in the Irish 1000 Guineas a few weeks ago at the Curragh. Stepping up in trip for this event, the daughter of Galileo should improve for a switch to 1m 4f, and the consistent performer could attract some each-way support at the current 9/1, but she may just lack the class to land a blow on Emily Upjohn.

Concert Hall was an excellent winner of a Listed event at Navan two starts ago over 1m 2f, but she failed to build on that effort when finishing third in the aforementioned Irish 1000 Guineas over a mile. Another that should improve significantly for the step up in trip, Concert Hall could be the most likely winner for the O'Brien team, but she still looks to lack the class of the market leader.

Completing the O'Brien team will be Thoughts Of June, who was last seen winning the Cheshire Oaks at Chester in May, but she only just got her head in front there and could find this too tough, while The Algarve completes the quartet and that raider looks to be up against it.

Emily Upjohn could face a stern adversary in the shape of Nashwa, who will be looking to hand Hollie Doyle her first Classic win, and the stablemate of the favourite was last seen winning a Listed event at Newbury, and shaped like there's a lot to come in the future. However, she looks very short for a filly that is yet to set the world alight. and while she could challenge for a top-six finish she is one towards the head of the betting to avoid.

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Charlie Appleby's With The Moonlight produced some smart displays as a juvenile, but she showed huge improvement on her sole run this season as she bounded to an impressive victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket. That may have only been a Listed event, but she stormed nearly five lengths clear of her rivals in that 1m 2f and at 10/1 she could be another attractive proposition against the favourite.

However, the each-way play in an intriguing renewal of the Oaks is the Ralph Beckett-trained MOON DE VEGA, who has only been victorious once in her career, but she was unlucky when finishing fourth at Chester last time out, and she is much better than that and can show that here. Available at 33/1 at the moment, Moon De Vega will be hoping for a clear run in this contest as she was hampered in the closing stages of that Chester event won by Thoughts Of June, and the Lope De Vega filly should relish the test of an Oaks. Likely to turn the form around with Thoughts Of June, Moon De Vega obviously has lots to find on the form, and it's hard to see her beating Emily Upjohn, but at 33/1 she can make the frame.

Joseph O'Brien's Tranquil Lady was a Group 3 winner last time out and she adds more depth to the contest, while Rogue Millennium and Kawida complete the line-up in a race that will like see Emily Upjohn prevail with Moon De Vega sneaking into the places.

2022 Cazoo Oaks
Moon De Vega silk

Moon De Vega (EW)

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Epsom Derby Odds
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