Kissed as short as 4-1 for Oaks after Navan romp
THE once-raced Ballydoyle filly Kissed careered away with the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan on Sunday and was vaulted to second favouritism for the Investec Oaks as a result.
Making all under Joseph O'Brien, the close relation of last year's Derby winner Pour Moi quickened impressively from the front in the rain-softened ground to beat her rivals by upwards of eight and a half lengths, and was shortened to a general 5-1 second favourite for the Epsom Classic behind her stablemate Maybe, although bet365 went as short as 4-1 (from 14-1). Coral go the same price from 10-1.
"She's a very uncomplicated filly and certainly was far better than them," said the winning rider. Both of her wins have now come at Navan on soft ground, and O'Brien added: "She's won both of her races on slow ground. You just don't know how she would handle better ground until she runs on it but I would say she wouldn't have any problem with it."
Ladbrokes also removed her stablemate Wading, a general 6-1 shot, from the Oaks betting on Sunday. The daughter of Montjeu was taken out of the Qipco 1,000 Guineas last week.
Those connections fearing testing conditions for the Guineas meeting at Newmarket this weekend received good news from director of racing and clerk of the course Michael Prosser on Sunday.
He said on Sunday: "We've had two and a half inches of rain since the Friday after the Craven meeting, including 17mm in the last 24 hours, and there's more to come today, but Monday is going to be beautiful and though we could get another 6mm to 8mm of rain into Tuesday morning it's then due to settle down for the rest of the week.
"We will be racing on fresh ground savedspecifically for the Guineas, and knowing how well the Rowley Mile drains and with grass growth so strong we could be back to good to soft by the end of Monday and then, if the forecast is correct, heading towards good ground by Saturday."