GB: Connections of Cheshire Oaks winner Dubai Fountain have suggested the filly has been “underestimated” ahead of the Oaks at Epsom on Friday June 4.
A total of 19 fillies were still engaged in the Cazoo-sponsored Classic following Friday’s entries stage, with the market headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair Santa Barbara and Snowfall.
Mark Johnston-trained Dubai Fountain is rated a 10-1 chance with Ladbrokes after her victory under Franny Norton in the Chester Listed contest, where she beat fellow Oaks contender Zeyaadah by a length.
The daughter of Teofilo was making her three-year-old debut ater six runs as a juvenile. “I think Dubai Fountain goes to Epsom with a real live chance,” said assistant trainer Charlie Johnston.
“I think it’s the age-old thing because it is one of ours and she has run quite a few times as a two year old and is a bit more exposed – it puts people off, but there were only a few rated better than her at two.
“She was screaming out as a middle-distance filly last year,” Johnston went on. “It was nice to see her reappear like she did and you would have no concerns about the ground with her.
“She is a very big, lengthy filly. If you would have asked me, or Franny at five out if she would have won I think the answer would have been no as she looked beat. I don’t think he was happy at any point in the race bar the line. I hope that was because of the muddling stop start gallop.
“The experience of going around Chester will not be lost on her and it will stand her in good stead going around Epsom. She had Snowfall well behind her in the Fillies’ Mile and she has just won her trial. I think Dubai Fountain has been underestimated as she never runs a bad race.”
Roger Varian has three contenders going forward, headed by Teona and Zeyaadah. Sea The Stars filly Teona was third behind Snowfall in Wednesday’s Musidora Stakes at York.
“Both fillies were fine after their trials,” said the Newmarket trainer. “They’re both well balanced fillies so you would hope that they would both handle Epsom. No decision has been made yet but we’re perfectly satisfied with how they trialled and we’ll see how they train over the next couple of weeks.”
The six-day confirmation stage for the Cazoo Oaks is on May 29, when there is also a £22,500 supplementary entry stage.
Oaks betting (Ladbrokes): 7-4 Santa Barbara, 4 Snowfall, 8 Noon Star, Sea Empress, Teona, Zeyaadah, 10 Dubai Fountain, 14 Saffron Beach, 20 bar.
• Visit the Cazoo Derby Festival website