Sky Sports heads to Manchester for what is set to be a thrilling final show of the year with no bigger prize than the Oaks up for decision. Darrell Williams casts his eye over the field for the leading ladies prize in the calendar and also offers his thoughts on the supporting TV races...
"Donation looked a bitch at the top of her game in the summer and having come into this fresh appears back to her best. Given her excellent record in stripes, she looks set to enjoy a potentially winning clear run"
Theres Mahogany hasn't raced since clocking a fast time over four bends on his British debut at Doncaster in October but has been well prepped for this return. Pacey Fast Rio would be the obvious beneficiary were the selection to under-perform but she lacks a look round.
Faughan Flash was speedy enough to run well in the Scurry here and his early pace has stood him in good stead over this CD previously (three wins from six). While his draw outside pacey in-from local Ainthehandsome is not ideal, he still rates the one to be interested in. Oaks semi-finalist Tyrur Emily hasn't particularly progressed in three starts here and well-drawn Castell Henry, despite the lack of a trial, is feared more. Swift Melampe has previous local form but has an tough draw to overcome and is on a long losing run.
Tyrur Stan ran well for the step up in trip at Sheffield, has been given two trials here by his astute trainer and looks set to take all the beating. Mexican Peso has been a little in and out around Sheffield recently but is solid enough over this kind of trip and is respected. Haliska Rubra, a 750m OR winner at Romford in the summer, should appreciate the step back up in trip.
A competitive heat but Dream Wrecker has progressed for the step up in trip and while this is a slight drop back, she remains of interest. Speed favouring Awe Struck is well drawn outside a slow starter over a trip that can often suit front-runners.
Rollinginthedeep is particularly effective over this CD and having beaten Kilara Allstar here last week is fancied to go in again having had little racing during the summer months. Dower Forgold, capable of flying times at Romford and a sprint winner at Hove recently, did his chances no harm with an excellent trial and could prove the biggest threat.
Droopys Live lacks a look round but has won first time at tracks previously and can further enhance her excellent strike-rate. Back up in trip, she has taken particularly well to six bends, including a fastest of the year for the 660m at Sheffield. That said, Sidarian Blu Ray given his own excellent form at Sheffield should not be under-estimated especially if he were able to lead up.
An odd choice of race for inclusion on Sky and Bloos Generosity can only be a token choice but the A1 local ran well in defeat at Monmore last week and may hold too many guns for these. Bouncy Bobs was useful last season but has only just returned from a year off the track and despite positive trials remains hard to weigh up.
21:08 Oaks final
A fiercely competitive final not made any easier by the presence of five railers. Irish raider Jumeriah Lolls was just denied a third consecutive win in her semi-final but is drawn to attack. Unlikely to edge across immediately from trap two, she appears the most likely leader - even if Ballydoyle Maura happened to trap more efficiently as she did in the first round when also drawn one - and if that's the case Gerry Holian's charge could take some stopping. However, Donation looked a bitch at the top of her game in the summer - she ran third in the Sussex Cup - and having come into this fresh appears back to her best. Unbeaten in the event, she would have been a big player anyway having drawn trap six - given her excellent nine from eleven record in stripes - but with railer Wuheida, badly drawn alongside her - making her own chance of an Oaks clean sweep that much trickier - Heather Dimmock's bitch looks set to enjoy a potentially winning clear run down the outside.