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Sobetsu enters the picture for Investec Oaks

14 May 2017

We look at the horses who have strengthened their hand for Epsom feature in recent days

Enable was an emphatic winner of the Cheshire Oaks. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Sobetsu relished the soft ground and was a decisive winner of the The Gurkha Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville on Sunday.

The Godolphin-owned filly, fifth to Rhododendron in the Fillies’ Mile last year, is now as short as 8-1 for the Investec Oaks but trainer Charlie Appleby has warned she will need easy ground to be seen in the QIPCO British Champions Series feature at Epsom on June 2.

“We’ll be on weather watch,” he said. “When she gets into a nice rhythm, I’d be confident she would get a mile and a half, but the key thing is the ground. If the ground came up soft then for sure, we’d have to go [to Epsom].”

The John Gosden-trained Enable was impressive when winning the Cheshire Oaks with authority under Frankie Dettori at Chester on Wednesday.

Available at 25-1 for the Oaks before that run, she is now a general 5-1 – with only Rhododendron, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas runner-up, preferred to her in the betting.

Alluringly, a stablemate of Rhododendron, chased Enable home at Chester and, while no match for her on the day, it is perhaps slightly surprising she is dismissed as a 25-1 chance as further improvement is also on the cards for her.

Initially, the Cheshire Oaks success of Enable looked a big boost to the Oaks chances of her stablemate, Shutter Speed, who had her back in third when scoring at Newbury last month.

However, Shutter Speed is in the same ownership as Enable and her connections have reservations about her staying at Epsom, indicating she could instead run in the French version over shorter.

Then again, if she romps home in the Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday then there may be a rethink. She is one of eight entries.

On Saturday, another Gosden filly, the 76-rated Hertford Dancer won what looked a weak running of the Oaks Trial at Lingfield.

She is not entered at Epsom but it will not have escaped the attention of some form students that the horse she finished a distant sixth behind on her debut was Shutter Speed.