Terrific out to extend O'Brien's Oaks record
AIDAN O'BRIEN bids for his fourth success in the last seven runnings of today's Weatherbys Private Banking Cheshire Oaks with Listed-placed Terrific. But if she is to follow in the footsteps of her stable predecessors she will have to be supplemented for the Investec Oaks.
Unusually for a Ballydoyle runner, Terrific has no entry in the Epsom Classic, with the Irish Oaks, Irish 1,000 Guineas and Ribblesdale Stakes among her future engagements, but she is the top-rated filly in this contest.
O'Brien's last three winners of the Cheshire Oaks all ran at Epsom, but only Wonder Of Wonders made the frame, finishing second in 2011.
Terrific, twice a winner last year, finished third at Navan last time behind stablemate Dazzling, who is 14-1 in the ante-post Oaks betting.
"She ran well at Navan last time and won't mind going round a bend," said O'Brien. "She's lazy, which is why she wears blinkers - it's just to keep her occupied as she doesn't do a lot. She's in good form, she stays and she'll get the trip well."
As usual it is a race full of unknown quantities, with impressive Newbury maiden winner Bright Approach running for 2,000 Guineas-winning owner Saeed Manana. The horse she beat at Newbury, Be My Gal, won the Listed Conqueror Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.
Manana's racing manager Bruce Raymond said: "We thought after Newbury this was the obvious next target and she must have a great chance. She won very well and I thought it was quite an impressive performance for a maiden, and the form has been franked."
Although still a maiden, Brown Diamond was only three lengths behind Pretty Polly winner Taghrooda - the Oaks favourite - on her debut last year.
Trainer Charlie Hills said: "I'm looking forward to running her. I know it's a big step up in class and distance but we've always liked her. She ran a terrific race at Newbury and if she gets the trip she'd have a good chance. It looks quite competitive though."
Today's key pointer
Since 2011, Aidan O'Brien has a six from eight record (75 per cent +£8.83) with three-year-olds at Chester. His Terrific is fancied to go close in the Cheshire Oaks. (Courtesy of Raceform Interactive)
Brighton Good to firm
Chester Good, good to firm in places
Kelso Good, good to soft in places
Worcester Good to firm, good in places