Lingfield preview: Miss Yoda out to prove she's an Oaks contender

Thu 4 Jun 2020

John Gosden may have a second viable contender for Epsom honours in Miss Yoda if everything goes to plan in the Betsafe Top Price All Runners Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield on Friday.

Frankly Darling bolted up at Newcastle on Monday to spring to prominence in the betting on the fillies’ Classic – and Miss Yoda looked a promising filly herself last season, winning two of her three outings.

Robert Havlin takes the ride and said: “She is a filly that I know well having won on her the first two times. She is the highest-rated in the race so she goes there with a good chance, but we will find out a little bit more about her after Friday as to whether she is an Oaks filly.

“She has been pleasing us at home and whatever she does on Friday she will improve on. She can be a free-going filly in the morning, but she seems to be different in the afternoons and I think she will get the trip.

“She is quite pleasant to ride on the track and she has found a good turn of foot in the two races that she has won. The heavy ground would have worked against her in the Zetland last year (when second). Her record is flawless really.

“It is a fact-finding mission to see what level she is at. She is probably the pick of three in the race from the yard, but these fillies improve over the winter.

“She has the best form out of the three and as we saw with Star Catcher last year these fillies improve and the other two wouldn’t be in there if they didn’t have a chance.”

Gosden – who struck 12 months ago with subsequent Epsom heroine Anapurna – also runs Lake Lucerne and Anastarsia.

West End Girl was highly thought of by Mark Johnston last season but disappointed on her final two starts.

Assistant trainer Charlie Johnston said: “On her Sweet Solera win this is exactly where you would expect a filly like that to be.

“Her two runs at the back end in the May Hill and Fillies’ Mile were very disappointing and I don’t know why, as nothing really came to light.

“This was an obvious starting point and on pedigree the step up in trip should suit. I’m sure there are unexposed horses that will improve a lot, but we set the standard on figures as to what she achieved at Newmarket last year, although we have a couple of bad runs to put behind us.”

Ralph Beckett’s Heart Reef and the Richard Hughes-trained So I Told You are others to consider in the Listed affair.

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