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Can Haggas and Murtagh make it two-out-of-two in the Investec Oaks?

31 May 2012

The smart filly Vow, trained by William Haggas and the mount of Johnny Murtagh, will look to repeat what Dancing Rain achieved for the partnership last year by winning tomorrow's Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Vow, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, was an eye-catching winner of the Betfred Oaks Trial at Lingfield Park. Image courtesy of

All fourteen fillies confirmed last Sunday for tomorrow’s Investec Oaks have been declared to run in the fillies’ middle distance Classic, race six in the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series.

They include the very exciting, unbeaten filly Vow, who like last year’s winner, Dancing Rain, is trained by William Haggas in Newmarket and will be ridden by Irish ace Johnny Murtagh.

One of the least experienced fillies in the line-up with only two runs under her belt, both this season, Vow won a maiden race at Newbury in April and then easily won the Betfred Oaks Trial at Lingfield in May.

She did hang right at Lingfield which raises some concerns for Epsom, but there is no doubting her ability.

Haggas has only ever had two runners in Epsom Classics and both won – Dancing Rain and the 1996 Derby winner, Shaamit. That is some record to maintain!

Another Newmarket-rained, The Fugue (John Gosden), will provide powerful opposition to Vow, having impressed when winning the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York on her latest start.

Newmarket also supplies another fancied runner in the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Kailani, who like Vow is unbeaten in two races, running away with the Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes at the QIPCO Guineas Festival in May to win by seven lengths.

That was run on soft ground and she has to prove that she is as good on the likely fast ground tomorrow, but there is no doubting her potential.

Aidan O’Brien could run as many as six in the race with the previously unbeaten QIPCO 1000 Guineas third, Maybe, the current favourite.

Unless it rains, however, the next of his runners in the betting, Kissed, is unlikely to run, having shown sparkling form on soft ground in her two races to date, both of which she won, the latter in extremely impressive style.

The big question with Maybe is whether she will stay Epsom’s stiff mile and a half – if she does, she has a favourite’s chance for sure.

There are some interesting outsiders, notably Ralph Beckett’s Colima and Hughie Morrison’s Coquet, in a top class renewal of the Investec Oaks.

It promises to be a tremendous contest, so make sure you catch it live on BBC2 and Racing UK at 4.05pm – unless, of course, you can get along to Epsom tomorrow and savour the big race atmosphere for yourself. Tickets will be on sale at the gate.

To view the full race details and see the declared runners, CLICK HERE.