While it's hard to see past Camelot for the Derby, Friday's Oaks (due off 16.05) looks far more competitive with five fillies quoted at single figure odds.
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Currently bookmakers are struggling to split Maybe and The Fugue with the pair closely matched on 1000 Guineas form, having been split by a distance of three quarters of a length when finishing third and fourth respectively. Both looked in need of the run and a longer trip, which was part confirmed when The Fugue hacked up in the Musidora Stakes, a recognised Oaks trial over 1m2f, on her next start. The John Gosden-trained filly has reportedly worked well since, whilst Maybe has stayed in her box, but that hasn't stopped Aidan O'Brien's filly edging favouritism with most firms, and Sportingbet are out on a limb with their 10/3 quote - she's as short as 2/1 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes, who are biggest on The Fugue at 3/1.
How influential is 1000 Guineas form?
The Newmarket race used to be the first port of call for clues but it's influence has declined in recent years and it has failed to produce an Oaks winner since Casual Look in 2003. Since then, just of three of the placed horses from Newmarket have gone on to run in the Epsom classic and they've finished 066, but in an open renewal it would be folly to rule out Maybe and The Fugue on that score. Those of you with good memories will remember that the likes of Balanchine, Moonshell and Reams Of Verse all scored at Epsom after running respectably in defeat in the Guineas.
What of the other O'Brien runners?
Maybe looks by far his best chance from six runners but his supposed second string Kissed has to be given plenty of respect. After winning her maiden at Navan last season, she was put away for the winter and looked to have done well physically when reappearing at the same track in April, when turning a Listed race into a procession. Both of those wins, though, were on soft ground and her exaggerated knee action suggests she will need plenty of rain before Friday. The weather forecast isn't encouraging in that respect but if it's wrong (wouldn't be the first time!) and the heavens open, she would have a serious chance. The O'Brien sextet is completed by Betterbetterbetter, Devotion, Twirl and Was, all of which look bit players on form.
Anything else of note?
You have to go back to 2002 to find Godolphin's last winner in Kazzia and it hasn't been the greatest start to the season for the boys in blue, but their Kailani was an easy winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes last time and has been supplemented at a cost of £20,000. Of course that's small change to them but she's bred for the job and could go well. Vow is another unbeaten filly having got off the mark in a hot maiden at Newbury last season, and then winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial in impressive style on her reappearance. She still looked very green that day and must have bags of improvement to come.
What's the verdict?
With Aidan O'Brien's Power showing marked improvement from his reappearance run when winning last weekend's Irish 2000 Guineas, the temptation is to go for his Maybe. However, she's far from certain stay and her current price of 11/4 does not compensate enough for that, so a chance is taken on the improving VOW (5/1 Paddy Power), who is the only runner in the field to have won at the Classic distance of 1m4f. The further she went, the better she looked that day so the stronger stamina test the Oaks provides should be right up her street, and her trainer William Haggas feels she's in a similar mould to the stable's Dancing Rain, who caused a 20/1 shock in this race 12 months ago. Haggas is not one for tilting at windmills and he now has a 100 per cent record in Epsom Classics (Shaamit was his sole runner in the Derby), so why look anywhere else for the winner?
What's the best bookmaker offer?
Most bookmakers are offering place terms of a quarter the odds three places but not all, so be careful when placing your each-way bets. bet365's Price Promise ensures they will be best price on any runner from 10.00am on the morning of the race, and their Best Odds Guaranteed offer applies too, meaning you can take a price safe in the knowledge you will get paid out at the SP if it's bigger.
Where to watch the race?
If you can't watch on TV then bet365 will be live streaming the race to any customer who has placed a bet of at least 50 pence (£0.25 each-way) on the race. Simply click on the live streaming icon next to the race.