The 2014 Epsom Oaks will be run in memory of the late Henry Cecil, arguably the greatest ever trainer of fillies, who made the race his own with eight victories between 1985 and 2007. Last year, the race was won by Talent (pictured) – as tipped by this very site – who became the third 20/1 SP winner in three years, and the fifth winner priced at odds of 9/1 or greater in the past six years. With those generously priced recent winners in mind, we’ve picked out a filly currently rated a 16/1 (17.00) chance with Unibet…
By looking over recent winners of the Epsom Oaks and identifying any trends that emerge, we can attempt to build up a profile of an Oaks winner and use that to whittle down the 2014 field to a more managabele number, before making our selection. Here are the key Epsom Oaks trends to pay attention to:
Key Epsom Oaks Trends
- All of the last 14 Epsom Oaks winners were sired by horses with a stamina index of 7.8 or greater
- 12 of the last 14 winners were born before the end of April
- 12 of the last 14 Oaks winners were sired by a Group 1 winner
In order to win such a prestigious Group 1 race as the Oaks, it’s obvious that the filly must have the classiest of bloodlines, but it’s equally important to have sufficient stamina in the pedigree too. We should also look to swerve the younger horses as they have had less time to mature, putting them at an obvious physical disadvantage.
- All of the last 14 Epsom Oaks winners had raced in the past 35 days
- 13 of the last 14 winners had run once or twice that season
- 15 of the last 18 Oaks winners finished 1st or 2nd last time out
- 10 of the last 12 winners finished 1st or 2nd in a recognised Oaks trial
- 11 of the last 14 winners finished 1-3 in a race at 10f+ last time out
These Oaks trends tell us that we should be looking for a filly who is race sharp but not overworked and in good form. We should also be looking at those fillies amongst the Oaks field that followed tried and trusted routes to Epsom; good form in the recognised Oaks trials is especially important.
- All of the last 14 Epsom Oaks winners had won over 8f or further
- All of the last 14 Oaks winners had raced at least twice in their careers
- 13 of the last 14 winners had raced no more than 6 times in their career
Our 2014 Epsom Oaks bet should have sufficient racecourse experience to cope with the occasion, without having been campaigned too hard. A certain level of proven stamina is also a necessary trait, according to the trends.
Applying all of the above trends to the 2014 Epsom Oaks field allows us to reduce it to just two contenders – David Simcock’s Madame Chiang and the John Gosden trained Taghrooda, who is currently rated as the hot favourite at a best price of 5/2 (3.50) with Paddy Power.
I don’t have much against the Gosden filly, if I’m honest. A winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes, just like recent Oaks heroines Talent and Ouija Board, she has done everything asked of her in her brief career and she meets all of the trends. If anyone wanted to back her, I wouldn’t try to dissuade them, but at the prices, I’m far more interested in the Simcock filly.
Jockey Kieren Fallon said that Madame Chiang had “idled” when hitting the front in the Musidora, explaining why she ‘only’ won by 1 3/4 lengths, adding that “this was only her second start and she’ll improve”. The ground might be a concern given the fact that both of her victories have come on soft, but Fallon believes that “she could go on any ground so long as it’s not too firm”, which is good enough for me not to be worried.
In the past seven renewals of the Epsom Oaks there has only been one successful favourite, with four winners having been priced up at double figure odds. With that in mind, I won’t be afraid to get stuck into Madame Chiang at the current best price of 16/1 (17.00) with Unibet.
The 2014 Epsom Oaks
Friday June 6th, 16:00
Madame Chiang (Each-Way) @ 16/1 (17.00) with Unibet