Aidan O’Brien admits the forecast soft ground is not ideal for any of his five runners in the Oaks at Epsom.
It is 20 years since the champion trainer first claimed the fillies’ Classic with Shahtoush and he has since stretched his tally to six with Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015) and Minding (2016).
This year’s challenge on Friday (Saturday AEST) is headed by Magic Wand and Forever Together, who finished first and second respectively in the Cheshire Oaks a little over three weeks ago.
“Magic Wand is in good form and we’ve been happy with her since Chester,” O’Brien told Press Association Sport.
“She’s progressed with all her runs so far this year. I’m not sure about the ground.
“I don’t think the soft ground is ideal for any of ours, really, but I suppose a lot of horses are in the same boat.”
“Forever Together is in good form and ran very well at Chester, too.”
Bye Bye Baby is another interesting contender for the all-conquering team following a Group Three triumph in the Blue Wind Stakes at the Curragh.
Lingfield Oaks Trial third Flattering and I Can Fly, who disappointed in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, complete the O’Brien team.
“Bye Bye Baby has form with ease in the ground. She stays and is a tough, hardy filly,” O’Brien said.
“She seems to have handled the soft ground in the past and is in good form since the Curragh.
“Flattering has form on soft ground as well, and we’ve always thought she would stay a mile and a half
“I Can Fly is in in good form. She was disappointing in the Guineas and we’re not sure the reason why.
“She’s out of a Montjeu mare so we think, and hope, that she might get the trip. She will be ridden patiently. “