Bye Bye Baby tipped to hand Ballydoyle Oaks victory at Epsom on Friday
A field of nine fillies will head to the start for the 2018 Investec Oaks, which takes centre stage at Epsom Downs at 4:30pm on Friday afternoon, and while it may lack the quality and intrigue of previous renewals there will still be some star names taking their chance, and it's no surprise to see Aidan O'Brien unleash a five-pronged attack in the Classic, but it's Godolphin's Wild Illusion that heads the betting for the Group 1 showpiece.
|Friday - 4.30pm||Odds||Bets|
|2018 Investec Oaks|
|Bye Bye Baby to win Best Bet||7/1|
Wild Illusion Heads Betting, But Be Wary Of Ballydoyle Clan
Impressive when winning the Prix Marcel Boussac as a juvenile, Wild Illusion is the one to instantly propel ooff the page when looking at the Investec Oaks Form Guide, but she could only finish fourth behind Billesdon Brook in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last time out, and the Charlie Appleby-trained raider will be looking to show that the step up in trip to 1m 4f should see her in her best light.
However, the Godolphin contender will face a quintet of Aidan O'Brien-trained runners and with two wins in the last three renewals of the Oaks, the Ballydoyle supremo will be eager to add another Classic win to his impressive CV, and all five will fancy their chances of landing the prize.
Ryan Moore has elected to partner Magic Wind, who beat stablemate Forever Together by three-and-a-half lengths in the Cheshire Oaks in the middle of May, and the former can frank that form again, but it's the improving Bye Bye Baby that could be the one flying the flag for the O'Brien team if she can continue on an upward curve.
She often found life tough in her juvenile campaign, but she appears to just becoming to hand now having won a Group 3 at the Curragh last time out, and while she will need more to land this prize she is one that should have no problems with the rain-softened ground at Epsom, and looks to be the value play against the front few in the betting.
Bye Bye Baby And Perfect Clarity Stand Out In Latest Odds
Available at 7/1 with Betfair Sportsbook, Bye Bye Baby has to be the one to take on Wild Illusion with, who looks rather skinny at 5/2 with Paddy Power, and if she can build on that aforementioned Curragh win then could well hand the O'Brien a Classic success before Saxon Warrior lines up in the Investec Derby on Saturday afternoon.
Clive Cox's Perfect Clarity is the only unbeaten runner in the field, and she shaped like a class act when winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial, but with only two runs under her belt she may just be caught out by the camber at Epsom, and while the 7/1 with Betfred is a solid each-way option her lack of experience may just see her falter in the closing stages.
Of the others, Give And Take (11/1 with William Hill) was a fine winner of the Musidora Stakes at York, but that lacked a bit of depth that York contest this year, so she will have to produce more, while the likes of I Can Fly (14/1 with Ladbrokes), Ejtyah (20/1) and Flattering (28/1) are another couple of fillies that will lack the class needed to win this race.