Watch the Investec Oaks live on Channel 4 at 4.00pm on June 6
The ante-post betting for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 6 has been dominated by the John Gosden-trained Taghrooda subsequent to her impressive six-length victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket at the beginning of May.
The daughter of Sea The Stars is currently as short as 7/4 in places for the fillies’ Classic, but I’m of the opinion that bookmakers and punters alike have got too carried away with Taghrooda. Sure, the way she did the job on the Rowley Mile was pleasing to the eye, but the form has no substance.
Polly form not looking so pretty
To put it into perspective, four of the five fillies that finished behind Taghrooda in the Pretty Polly have run again since, and they were all well beaten. Don’t get me wrong, time may prove that the form is decent, but the evidence available as things stands suggests otherwise.
With just two races under her belt there’s every chance that Taghrooda is capable of better still, and I could end up with egg on my face on June 6. However, even at a top-priced 5/2 with 888sport I still wouldn’t touch her with a barge pole.
Is Marvellous as marvellous as she looked at The Curragh?
Marvellous, whose trainer Aidan O’Brien has landed this race four times since 1998, is as short as 5/1 for the Investec Oaks following her thoroughly decisive three-length victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at The Curragh on Sunday.
The Galileo filly is clearly a smart performer and, in all probability, she will relish the step up to a mile and-a-half at Epsom. However, the ground was really bad on that occasion and I’m not totally convinced that the manner of her victory was indicative of her superiority.
The unbeaten French filly Shamkala, generally a 10/1 chance at the time of writing, will be an intriguing candidate if taking her chance, while Godolphin’s Ihtimal was a close-up third in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and will be a major player if her stamina holds out at Epsom.
Tarfasha a tasty bet at 6/1
However, I reckon TARFASHA, who can be backed at 6/1 with several firms including William Hill, can provide master trainer Dermot Weld with a belated second winner in this Classic, a race he won back in 1981 with Blue Wind.
The Teofilo filly did well in three starts as a two-year-old, finishing runner-up to leading Derby hope Geoffrey Chauncer on debut, prior to landing a Galway maiden in good style and then finishing third to the highly-regarded My Titania at The Curragh on her final run of 2013.
Tarfasha raised her game a notch when comfortably landing a decent Group 3 contest over a mile and-a-quarter on her seasonal reappearance at Naas, and it could be that the step up to the Oaks trip will unlock further improvement.
Dermot Weld’s charge has already encountered various different ground types ranging from good to firm to yielding to soft, so she won’t be inconvenienced whichever way the weather goes in the run-up to June 6. All in all, she rates a very solid ante-post bet for what looks an open race.
Investec Oaks Tip:
Tarfasha – 6/1 (William Hill)