Sariska (left): the 2009 Oaks winner is the dam of the exciting Snow Moon
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker
By Keith Melrose 7:42AM 9 JUN 2016
COMING as it does after the Oaks, today’s race is typically won by a later-maturing middle-distance filly and it is no surprise to see trainers such as Sir Michael Stoute, Luca Cumani and John Gosden on the recent roll of honour and represented in this year’s renewal.
Two of the declared runners, Beauly and Snow Moon, have entries in next week’s Ribblesdale Stakes, but it is five years since a winner of this race attempted that double.
More natural a progression for a good winner of the race is the Irish Oaks, which 2012 winner Great Heavens went on to take, stopping off for the Lancashire Oaks in between.
Great Heavens was trained by Gosden and his runner this year, the aforementioned Snow Moon, is one of the more interesting.
The first foal out of Oaks winner Sariska to see the track, she won a 1m½f Nottingham maiden in good style last month and will be expected to mix it in a higher grade in time.
“She’s progressed since her maiden win and we think the step up to a mile and a quarter should be within her compass,” said Gosden. “This looked like a nice Listed race for her to take in on the way up and we won’t be rushing her into taking up her entry in the Ribblesdale.”
Following a similar path is the Stoute-trained Abingdon, owned by race sponsors Ballymacoll Stud. She won at Ascot on the same day Snow Moon did at Nottingham. It was a stronger race run over today’s trip, which might give Abingdon a slight edge.
She is also exceptionally well bred, being the first foal of an unraced mare who was the result of a meeting between Galileo and Hellenic.
Charlie Hills, trainer of Beauly, added: “It looks a tough race with Abingdon and Snow Moon in there, but we have her entered in the Ribblesdale and I think she has an each-way chance.”