Gosden vs O’Brien: Which Epsom Oaks’ titan has the best 2021 hand?

Epsom Racecourse

The Epsom Oaks is the third classic of the season for our horse racing tips and is steeped in history. Won by the likes of Ouija Board, Snow Fairy, Taghrooda, Minding, Enable and Love, it takes a special filly to win the contest. It’s also a race that has been dominated by two trainers: Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden.

The pair have won a combined eleven renewals, including eight of the last nine. Their fillies have been a cut above in recent years and given the season both yards are having, another classic could be on the way. I’ve taken a look through their 2021 contenders, to see who holds the aces. Find out all the key details below, including a 25-1 selection!

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Aidan O’Brien

Santa Barbara (3-1)

O’Brien’s biggest 2021 hope is undoubtedly the highly touted Santa Barbara, who went off at just 5/2 for the 1000 Guineas. An impressive winner on debut, she looked in need of further in the Guineas, seeing out her race strongly. A half-sister to Group 1 winners Iridessa and Order Of Australia, she can only improve for further racing.

Mother Earth (16-1)

Kept very busy as a juvenile Mother Earth ran on eight occasions, winning just once in a Naas Group 3. She confirmed her two-year-old promise on return in the 1000 Guineas, quickening up smartly to poach the prize. She undoubtedly has the class, but as a daughter of Zoffany, stamina doubts have to be raised. None of her relatives stayed 1m 4f and Santa Barbara is the horse to follow out of the 1000 Guineas.

Joan Of Arc (25-1) 

A full sister to 6 winners, including classic winners Gleneagles and Marvellous, Joan Of Arc has it all there on paper. She has raced three times thus far, winning at the Curragh on turf debut before a sixth-place finish in a Leopardstown Group 3. Racing over seven furlongs thus far, she will relish stepping up in distance and an explosive amount of improvement can be expected. She runs on Sunday, so pay close attention for clues.

John Gosden & Thady Gosden

Indigo Girl (16-1)

Winning two of her three starts as a juvenile, Indigo Girl is an exciting prospect. A Group 2 winner on her second career start, she found just Pretty Gorgeous too strong in the Fillies’ Mile when last seen in October. Sister to Group 1 winner Journey, she should progress exponentially over the middle distances this term. Gosden has said before that he doesn’t see her as a mile and a half horse, but I think she’s flying in under the radar at a very tempting 16-1.

Monsoon Moon (33-1)

It’s difficult not to be excited by Monsoon Moon, who is a half-sister to St Leger winner Logician. We saw her twice last year, winning impressively at the second attempt at Newmarket. That was over the mile and stamina shouldn’t be an issue for her moving up in trip this term. Ryan Moore said she is a “big filly and she still needs to mature physically and mentally” after her opening success and she’s another who could be arriving undetected at massive odds.

Queen Charlotte (50-1)

She has far from the flashiest pedigree, but Queen Charlotte is totally unexposed after winning at the second attempt at Wolverhampton in February. She was strong at the finish that day over 1m 1f and she’ll relish stretching out even further in trip. That being said, she would need a massive jolt of improvement to be competitive in the Oaks and she wouldn’t be the most interesting of options at the current prices.

25-1 selection

At the current prices, the one that would excite me is Joan Of Arc. As previously mentioned, she has a simply outstanding pedigree, being a sister to a pair of classic winners in Gleneagles and Marvellous. She’s raced exclusively over the seven-furlong distance thus far and stretching out to the middle distances should prompt explosive improvement from this filly.

She is entered in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial on Sunday and that will tell us plenty. If she does score, her price of 25-1 will surely shorten dramatically for Epsom. Ultimately, Aidan O’Brien has all the aces for this year’s Epsom Oaks.

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