Love (Aidan O’Brien) is the favourite with Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival, for the 2020 G1 Investec Oaks. For the first time ever, the Investec Oaks and Investec Derby will both take place at Epsom Downs on the same day – Saturday, 4th July.
A daughter of Galileo, Love is already a Classic winner having taken the G1 QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on 7th June. A total of 48 fillies have completed the 1000 Guineas-Oaks double, most recently the O’Brien-trained Minding in 2016.
In addition to Love, O’Brien has also entered G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Peaceful plus G2 Ribblesdale Stakes second Ennistymon and Passion.
The master of Ballydoyle is the most successful current trainer in the Investec Oaks with seven victories – Shahtoush (1998), Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015), Minding (2016) and Forever Together (2018).
Two of the latest three runnings of the Investec Oaks have gone to horses trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori – the great Enable (2017) and Anapurna (2019). The Gosden-Dettori combination is set to be represented on Saturday by Frankly Darling, an impressive winner of the G2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Gosden has also entered Tiempo Vuela, who was an eye-catching winner on her only juvenile start but unplaced when running very freely in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.
Another trainer doubly represented is Roger Varian with Gold Wand and Queen Daenerys. Gold Wand, a daughter of 2015 Investec Derby hero Golden Horn, was an impressive winner of a 10-furlong maiden at Newbury on 11 June while Queen Daenerys was runner-up on her return to action in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on 7th June.
Newmarket-based Varian said today: “Gold Wand & Queen Daenerys are both well.
“No decision has been made yet on the Oaks.
“I need to speak with both owners and a decision won’t be made at this stage.”
Godolphin trained Saeed bin Suroor has saddled two Oaks winners courtesy of Moonshell (1995) and Kazzia (2002). His entry in 2020 is Dubai Love, runner-up in the G3 UAE Oaks at Meydan, Dubai in February and a close third last time out in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Completing the entries are G2 Ribblesdale Stakes fourth Bharani Star (Peter Chapple-Hyam) and Oriental Mystique (David Simcock).
The Investec Oaks is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
The Investec Oaks (Group 1)
2.40pm, Epsom Downs, Saturday, 4th July, 2020. 1m 4f 6y. £250,000 Total Prize Fund.
1) Bharani Star (GER) (Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited) Peter Chapple-Hyam 3-9-00
2) Dubai Love (Godolphin) Saeed bin Suroor 3-9-00
3) Ennistymon (IRE) (Evie Stockwell) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00
4) Frankly Darling (Anthony Oppenheimer) John Gosden 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori
5) Gold Wand (IRE) (Mohamed Khalid Abdulrahim) Roger Varian 3-9-00
6) Love (IRE) (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00
7) Oriental Mystique (Kirsten Rausing) David Simcock 3-9-00
8) Passion (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00
9) Peaceful (IRE) (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00
10) Queen Daenerys (IRE) (H.H. SH Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa) Roger Varian 3-9-00
11) Tiempo Vuela (A E Oppenheimer and Sophie) John Gosden 3-9-00 Martin Harley