Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Maybe sure to be in contention at the Oaks

Maybe will be gunning for glory in the Oaks

With Camelot looming on in the Derby and six fillies in the Investec Oaks, Aidan O'Brien and his patrons at Coolmore have every chance of making it four wins from four British Classics this season.

That is a mortifying prospect for the sport's other superpower. You cannot overstate the value to Godolphin of a big run from Kailani.

Notoriously the stable's cupboard is otherwise so bare that Frankie Dettori, its senior rider, finds himself without a mount in either Epsom Classic for the first time since 1992 — excepting 2000, when injured in a plane crash.

Dettori, marooned at Haydock instead, must sit in the changing room and watch Mickael Barzalona ride Kailani.

He will be less surprised than many by this indignity, their employers having made it explicit — when adding Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa to their team this year — that winning partnerships were unlikely to be broken up.

Being overlooked for the mount on the stable's top Derby hope was another matter, albeit Mandaean ran so deplorably in his trial at York that the affront had no lasting consequence.

Kailani is bred for the job as a daughter of Kazzia, the 2002 winner. And none of the trials was won with greater emphasis than the Pretty Polly Stakes, in which she careered seven lengths clear.

The genes of her sire, Monsun, promise better again over the extra two furlongs. It is difficult, however, to know the substance of that form. For now, Kailani represents too great a leap of faith.

Earlier that same afternoon O'Brien had won the 1,000 Guineas, albeit not with the filly most expected — Homecoming Queen's startling transformation, out in front, having condemned Maybe to third.

Undaunted, punters have again identified Maybe as the top Ballydoyle hope and the young stable jockey seems to agree.

The Co Tipperary yard could be hard to stop, in Homecoming Queen herself, while Peeping Fawn had been beaten in three April maidens the year she set up a Group One spree with an unlucky half-length defeat in the Oaks.

Devotion is capable of radical improvement at this trip, at |66-1, but perhaps the best value is Betterbetterbetter — which is exactly what we can expect, after a disappointing reverse in her trial at Chester.

Meanwhile, the Queen was given a Jubilee gift by Carlton House when the 10-11 favourite won the Group Three Betfair Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown last night.

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