Dubai: Two Dubai-owned horses, Maqsad and Mehdaayih, come up against each other as they bid to win the Group 1 Epsom Oaks, the UK’s premier fillies’ Classic and highlight of Ladies’ Day at Epsom Downs on Friday. Both horses also chase history of sorts.
Maqsad is bidding to give Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, a fourth Oaks trophy following Salsabil (1990), Eswarah (2005) and Taghrooda (2014).
Mehdaayih, a daughter of the legendary Frankel, who was supplemented to the race on Saturday at a cost of £30,000, can become the first Classic winner for her Emirati owner Nasser Lootah.
A very impressive four and a half-length winner of the Listed Cheshire Oaks at Chester on May 8, Mehdaayih is the 11/4 second favourite behind Ireland’s Pink Dogwood (2/1).
Commenting on the chances of Maqsad, who has won both her starts in 2019 outing, including the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes, Angus Gold, racing manager to Shaikh Hamdan, said: “Maqsad is in good form. She has improved an awful lot this season and was very impressive when winning the Pretty Polly.
“She is a classy filly and, hopefully, she stays the trip and handles the track at Epsom.
“On pedigree, she is not guaranteed to stay, but we are looking forward to seeing how she gets on.
“It is great to have a live chance in the Oaks.”
Lavender’s Blue is an interesting runner as she represents Benny Andersson of the hit-making Swedish pop band ABBA.
Trained by Amanda Perrett, the Sea The Stars filly as a battling second to Queen Power in the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury on May 18, having previously won on debut at The The joint showpiece event on the seven-race programme at Epsom Downs on Friday is the £445,000 Group 1 Coronation Cup, over one mile, four furlongs and six yards.
The first and second from last year’s St Leger, Kew Gardens and Lah Ti Dar are among a strong 10-horse field.
Godolphin have supplemented Old Persian, who enjoyed an unbeaten campaign in Dubai that culminated with an outstanding success in the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic on March 30.
Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby reported on the stable’s website: “We have been pleased with Old Persian’s preparation and the ground should be perfect for him as he has shown a high level of form on a quick surface.
“He has progressed nicely from three to four and a performance similar to the one he produced in the Dubai Sheema Classic will make him a major player.
“If anything, we feel that Old Persian might have become quicker this year, and the way he travels through his races suggests that Epsom Downs will play to his strengths.”