O’Brien admits Moore faces tough task in picking Oaks mount

Magical and Magic Wand both hold strong claims in the Epsom Classic

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Aidan O’Brien admits Ryan Moore will find it difficult to abandon Magical in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday week.

Moore developed a sound association with the Galileo filly last season, but the star jockey was similarly taken by Cheshire Oaks winner Magic Wand.

O’Brien said: “I suppose Magical was a very highly-rated filly last year and she’s a full sister to Rhododendron, but I know Ryan was very happy with the filly he rode in Chester as well.

“It’s not going to be an easy one for him, but he’s probably going to find it hard to get off Magical.

“But that’s not to say that he won’t because I know he was very happy with the Chester filly and we were very happy with her also.”

O’Brien also plans to saddle Blue Wind Stakes winner Bye Bye Baby, while Cheshire Oaks runner-up Forever Together and I Can Fly are other likely Oaks contenders.

But speaking at the Breakfast with the Stars event at Epsom on Tuesday morning, the Ballydoyle handler said Happily, who finished third in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, will not run at Epsom.

He said: “She’s going to the Irish Guineas and there’s not a lot of time to come back.”

Sea Of Class burst into the Oaks picture when successful at Newbury on Saturday, but she is not a definite runner at this stage.

Trainer William Haggas said: “She won very well last week and it didn’t surprise us.

“My feeling is the Oaks will come too quick. I emailed Mrs (Ling) Tsui (of owners Sunderland Holding Ltd) the day after Newbury and I got a response this morning, but I need to speak to her in person.

“She’s quite keen to go, naturally. As she says, ‘There’s only one Investec Oaks’, but ultimately I think she’ll leave it to me. I’ve just got to discuss it with her.

“I’ve got her in the Ribblesdale and I’ve put her in the French Oaks. The French Oaks looks the right fit as it gives her a month from Newbury and it gives us time to go for the Irish Oaks as well.”

Haggas will, though, definitely be represented in the Classic with Musidora winner Give And Take.

He said: “Give And Take will run in the Oaks and James Doyle will definitely ride her, depending on Sea Of Class.”

Clive Cox was satisfied with Perfect Clarity after she worked in tandem with Adam Kirby at Epsom on Tuesday morning.

The unbeaten daughter of Nathaniel is a credible Oaks contender after she won a trial for the Classic at Lingfield on May 12.

Cox said: “She’s got a lot of ticks in a lot of boxes and is definitely the best middle-distance filly I’ve had anything to do with. The are some nice fillies out there and the picture is coming together nicely.

“I’m very relaxed because I know she will acquit herself well.”

Charlie Appleby intends to saddle Group One-winning filly Wild Illusion, who finished fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Newmarket handler said: “We were delighted with her run in the Guineas. We were very happy with how she handled the ground and it was a good performance from the filly.

“I’m confident she will be suited by the step up in trip.”

O’Brien admits Moore faces tough task in picking Oaks mount
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