Turf Talk: One Wonders who will win the Oaks?

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CELIDH HOUSE seems to have finally found her grade in Listed company.

After a disappointing summer in 2010, when she was quietly fancied for the Epsom Oaks, the Ralph Beckett filly seemed to rediscover her form towards the end of the year. She returned from a winter break to win a listed race over 10 furlongs at Doncaster and then built upon that further when third to subsequent Falmouth winner Timepiece over 1m 3f at Warwick last month. She looks the one to beat in the 2.35 at Newmarket on Saturday with the big danger coming from last years Oaks third Meeznah.

The Weatherbys Super Sprint is one of the highlights of the flat season and is often a benchmark event for two year old sprinters. Trainer Ed McMahon has a fantastic record with his two year olds and won this race last year with eventual Mill Reef Stakes winner Temple Meads. He has another potential star in this field in IMPASSIVE. This son of superstar Aussie sprinter Choisir has a very low weight, which could prove the key. Trainer Richard Hannon is usually a threat in these types of races, and the main dangers may well sit with his runners Eureka and Redact.

PATHFORK looks to get his season back on track when running in the Group 3 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday. The Jessica Harrington trained three year old was far from disgraced in the 2000 Guineas, where the race was blitzed by superstar Frankel and, on his Group One winning two year old form and with no Frankel in the field, he must be a strong candidate here. Recent winner Emulous could go well and John Oxx is likely to also have two runners for the Aga Khan. However, if Pathfork is on form he will be very difficult to beat.

The best bet of the weekend runs on Sunday in the prestigious Darley Irish Oaks, where Epsom Oaks runner up WONDER OF WONDERS looks to reverse the form with winner Dancing Rain. The Aidan O’ Brien filly looked classy when winning the Cheshire Oaks at the Chester May meeting. Dancing Rain was fortunate to get a fantastic front running ride from Johnny Murtagh at Epsom, and she will be unlikely to be able to dictate things in quite the same way at the Curragh. Ballydoyle are likely to employ pacemakers to tee the race up for Wonder of Wonders and Misty for Me. Wonder Of Wonders’ sire Galileo has had offspring win a Grade 1/Group 1 race in 9 of the last 10 weeks, and his daughter WONDER OF WONDERS should continue the sequence on Sunday at the Curragh.

2.35 Newmarket, Saturday – Celidh House

3.30 Newbury, Saturday – Impassive

3.10 Curragh, Saturday – Pathfork

3.40 Curragh, Sunday – Wonder of Wonders (Nap)

The Yorkshireman – Jack Milner