Crowd favourite Frankie Dettori is still a major star
John Gosden runs the Derby favourite Jack Hobbs in the Dante Stakes at York today and strengthened his hand for the Oaks when Star Of Seville made all the running in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes.
With Pretty Polly winner Jazzi Top already single figures in some lists for the Classic, the master of Clarehaven seems more taken by the chances of the Lady Bamford-owned filly, who saw her silks carried to victory in the race by Sariska in 2009.
Frankie Dettori, who has few peers when allowed to dictate from the front, set only a steady gallop but she showed an impressive turn of foot to quickly go three lengths clear a furlong out and the race looked over.
However, the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade began to idle having been out on her own for so long and Aidan O'Brien's Fillies Mile winner Together Forever closed to within a head, but Dettori always felt there was more in the tank.
"Frankie said she was just waiting in front. That was a Group One filly coming at her. Luckily, when she got there she started going again. It is a long time to be in front for an inexperienced filly," said Gosden.
"I don't think Epsom will be a problem, as she is a well-balanced filly. The second is a Group One winner by Galileo and is no mug.
"We might go to the Breakfast With The Stars event (at Epsom), which will give us something to talk about over baked beans."
Coral have the winner and the second at 6-1 for the Investec Oaks with Ladbrokes favouring the runner-up at 7-1 over Star Of Seville at 9-1.
Jazzi Top is also scheduled for the pre-Classic event at Epsom but it is Royal Ascot that Gosden is thinking of for his unbeaten colt Mahsoob (11-4 favourite), who looked better than a handicapper when passing nearly the whole field in the 888Sport Stakes.
Form stall 18 Paul Hanagan had little option but to drop in and three furlongs out he appeared to be going nowhere, but the overdrive kicked in and his rider eventually struggled to pull him up passing the line.
"I told Paul to ride him with confidence and he did," said Gosden. "He's in the Hardwicke and the Prince of Wales's, but races like that are a big step up.
"He's taken some pulling up there, just like at Newbury, so on watching it again I think we'd be better off stepping him up in trip, so it looks like the Hardwicke."
David Simcock's 40-1 chance Glass Office came out in top in a blanket finish to the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes.
Jack Hobbs can throw down the most compelling marker for the Epsom Derby on June 6 in what has so far been a fairly hazy year by winning the Dante Stakes today.
The unbeaten Halling colt is already ante-post favourite for the Derby at 5-1, but the Dante Stakes is by far his stiffest assignment yet on a racecourse.