When looking at Friday’s Oaks, my advice is to make sure you type ‘Magic Wand horse’ into your search engine, rather than just the name of Aidan O’Brien’s filly, otherwise you might find yourself receiving some strange looks from workmates. Though the close proximity of stablemates Forever Together and Bye Bye Baby in the betting suggests there isn’t much between them, Ryan Moore – a magician at times himself – has chosen to ride Cheshire Oaks winner Magic Wand who still has further improvement to come.
She gets the nod ahead of Wild Illusion who is the form choice having won the Prix Marcel Boussac before a creditable fourth in the 1000 Guineas; there’s plenty of stamina in her pedigree to suggest she’ll stay this far.
Mendoza is a city in the heart of Argentina’s wine country, famed for Malbecs and other red wines, and punters who backed the colt on debut at Newbury may have had a little whine themselves given the considerate nature of the ride Mendoza received that day. However, he displayed clear promise and looks capable of playing a major hand in what doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the Woodcote Stakes which opens the day’s card.
Marie’s Diamond and Its The Only Way set an attainable standard on their third/fourth placed finishes in minor company last time.
Former Pizza entrepreneur Frankie Dettori has described Cracksman as “a better horse” in recent days after several gallops at home, though the John Gosden-trained star probably won’t need to be to secure plenty of dough in the Coronation Cup. He picked up where he left off when forging clear in the Prix Ganay on his reappearance at the end of April and it’s very hard to see past him here, particularly as his best performance to date came when faced with soft ground.
Idaho won readily at Chester last month and this full brother to last year’s winner Highland Reel is narrowly preferred to Sheema Classic hero Hawkbill for the forecast spot.
Finally, the town of Masham in the Yorkshire Dales is famous for its breweries, and it’s likely that Masham Star’s owners – 3 Batterhams and A Reay – will have celebrated with a drink or two following the success of Nyaleti in last Sunday’s German 1000 Guineas.
The second race on Friday isn’t so prestigious, however their Masham Star has leading claims having been worn down only in the dying strides at Ayr last time. He’s very well handicapped and another bold bid seems assured from the same mark.