Turret Rocks could fire Bolger to Oaks triumph
Fresh from her shock defeat to Jet Setting at the Curragh, Minding today looks like starting at odds-on to atone for that narrow setback by securing Investec Oaks glory under Ryan Moore.
In tomorrow's Derby, as had been flagged, Moore and Aidan O'Brien will combine for US Army Ranger.
The former clear market leader for the premier Classic had been easy to back following recent rainfall that has left the Epsom ground on the slow side.
However, the unimpressive but unexposed Chester Vase victor is again challenging John Gosden's Wings Of Desire for favouritism at odds of as low as 4/1. US Army Ranger will be joined by his closest Chester pursuer Port Douglas, which will be ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, while Idaho (Seamie Heffernan), Deauville (Jamie Spencer) and Shogun (Donnacha O'Brien) complete the Ballydoyle delegation.
When you think back to Minding's utter superiority at Newmarket it's not hard to make a case for her making amends. Prior to being out-gunned by Jet Setting at the Curragh, she looked an exceptional prospect.
You couldn't say with confidence that Minding isn't still that, and it may be significant the first two pulled 10 lengths clear in the Irish Guineas.
That all said, and notwithstanding O'Brien's genius with fillies, she still faces a massive task. When you also factor in the slight doubt about Minding staying a mile-and-a-half, there are probably better value options.
Seventh Heaven, the mount of last year's winning rider O'Donoghue, and the Heffernan-ridden Somehow both come here on a hat-trick. Jim Bolger is due to saddle Turret Rocks, which ran well to be sixth in the Guineas, form that has stood up.
On her seasonal comeback at Newmarket, Kevin Manning's mount raced on the pace before tiring, beaten by six lengths. Turret Rocks, by last year's winning sire Fastnet Rocks, is bred to be suited by this trip.
Successful in last year's May Hill Stakes at Doncaster before staying on to be beaten a length by Ballydoyle in the Prix Marcel Boussac, she has the scope to step up to this level, although she is unproven on soft.
At odds of up to 7/1, Turret Rocks is fancied to score, 25 years after Jet Ski Lady's stunning Oaks triumph for the stable under Christy Roche.