French Oaks Preview and Betting Tips – Chantilly 18/06/2017
Aidan O’Brien is chasing more Classic success when he saddles Rhododendron in the French Oaks on Sunday.
Rhododendron back in trip for French Oaks
The leading Irish trainer has already won three Classics in England this season and two in his native country. The only one to avoid his clutches was the Epsom Oaks in which Rhododendron was outstayed by John Gosden’s Enable.
The filly started odds-on at Epsom after chasing home her stable companion Winter in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. She was slightly impeded in her run that day but would not have caught the impressive winner. Ryan Moore always had her well placed in the Oaks but she appeared to run out of stamina inside the final furlong. The Prix de Diane, also known as the French Oaks, is run over an extended mile and a quarter. That should prove ideal for the daughter of Galileo who is out of a Pivotal mare.
Despite her Classic form, Rhododendron is only second favourite at Chantilly. Her main market rival is Gosden’s Shutter Speed, the mount of Frankie Dettori. She beat Enable at Newbury earlier this year before winning the Musidora Stakes at York. She reportedly hated the soft ground at York and is expected to improve on this faster surface.
Terrakova carries stable confidence
The leading hope of France is the beautifully-bred Terrakova, by Galileo out of the brilliant race mare Goldikova. She has clearly inherited some of her mother’s talent and is unbeaten in two starts. She needed to be driven along to win a Group 3 at Saint-cloud last month but was well on top at the finish.
Terrakova defeated Panthelia by three-quarters of a length. The runner-up had previously finished only sixth behind Onthemoonagain at Toulouse. That form suggests that Onthemoonagain could be generously priced at 25-1. Christophe Soumillon rides the daughter of Cape Cross who has won three of her four races.
Sistercharlie earned her place in the French Oaks field by winning a Group 3 in April. She beat Listen In by a length, a stable companion of Terrakova. Kitesurf has shown her best form over a mile and a half with plenty of cut in the ground. The Godolphin filly is likely to find this trip on the sharp side on faster ground.
Chantilly Betting Tips 18/06/2017
3.05 French Oaks
Rhododendron @3.5 Betfair
Onthemoonagain (each-way) @26.0 Betfair
Each-way 1/5 odds, 1,2,3