Tough Oaks decision for Moore

1 year ago

World leading jockey Ryan Moore will ride in the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom next Friday (June 1), but a final decision on which of Aidan O’Brien’s two main candidates he will ride has yet to be taken.

Moore, who won the fillies’ Classic in 2010 on Snow Fairy and in 2016 on Minding, is faced with having to choose either Magical, winner of the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last August before failing by just a short-head to beat stable companion Happily in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the same track the following month, or Magic Wand, unplaced in a maiden last year but very progressive this season.

Magic Wand finished third on her first start of this campaign in a maiden at Leopardstown last month run in bottomless ground, then impressed many observers when bolting up at Chester a couple of weeks ago in the listed Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks slamming another Ballydoyle filly Together Forever by an easy three-and-a-half lengths.

While she hasn’t had the top level experience of Magical she does look a certain stayer. Magical, fourth at Paris Longchamp on her seasonal reappearance in a Group 3 event in heavy ground last month, has yet to race beyond a mile.

“I suppose Magical was a very highly-rated filly last year and she’s a full sister to Rhododendron, but I know Ryan was very happy with the filly he rode in Chester as well,” O’Brien told reporters on Tuesday at Epsom’s Breakfast With The Stars. “It’s not going to be an easy one for him, but he’s probably going to find it hard to get off Magical. But that’s not to say that he won’t, because I know he was very happy with the Chester filly and we were very happy with her also.”

Magic Wand is currently an 11/1 shot with Betfred, while Magical can be backed at 12/1 with Betfair.

John Gosden’s Lah Ti Dar, very impressive when hacking up at Newmarket earlier this month in the listed Pretty Polly Stakes, is the clear 9/4 favourite with Paddy Power. She was recommended some weeks ago in Betting.Net’s ante-post preview at 12/1.

Paul Alster

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.