2021 Oaks Ante-Post Preview – 6/1 Selection Is The One To Beat!
Cazoo Oaks Ante-Post Preview
It’s Classic weekend as Epsom plays host to the prestigious Oaks and Derby. The action begins on Friday with the aforementioned Cazoo Oaks taking centre stage, this prize was won last year by the Aidan O’Brien trained Love – and the master of Ballydoyle once again has a strong hand to play for this year’s renewal. In anticipation of the race, our expert tipster has produced an in-depth ante-post preview of the Oaks – read their thoughts below.
Talking Horse Barbara Needs To Speak Up
No better place to start in this year’s Oaks than with Santa Barbara, a horse who has been talked up more than any other in the build-up to Saturday’s race. Rumoured to have dazzled on the Ballydoyle gallops, Santa Barbara was sent off the joint-favourite for the 2000 Guineas last month despite having been seen on a racecourse just once prior to that.
Santa Barbara far from disappointed there, finishing a respectable fourth, and she is sure to have learnt plenty for the experience. With the array of equine talent at Aidan O’Brien’s disposal, you must sit up and take notice when he talks up a horse as he has done Santa Barbara.
The obvious negatives for her backers are price, and experience. Plus, whilst she is bred to stay this trip, it is an unknown and therefore makes her current 9/4 price look plenty short enough.
Roger Varian Duo Hold Live Claims
Roger Varian’s Zeyaadah was 3-3 last season and arguably should have her unbeaten record still intact, with a hold-up ride not helping her cause at Chester last time. She should reverse form with Dubai Fountain if the two meet again later this week, but she may struggle to claim top honours ahead of her stablemate TEONA.
This filly is from a family that the connections know well – with the dam Ambivalent a Group 1 winner. Teona was a winner on just her second career start at Newcastle in November – beating a now 88-rated rival by an effortless nine-length margin.
Plenty went wrong for Teona in the Musidora on seasonal reappearance last month – jumped at start and lost lengths, raced keenly and made her challenge from a disadvantageous track position – so the third-place finish achieved there can be upgraded significantly.
On pedigree, stepping up an extra couple of furlongs is guaranteed to suit, and as that Musidora run was her first on turf, she is entitled to have learned plenty for the experience.
With all of these factors in mind, the current 6/1 available for Teona looks a decent spot of each-way value.