Lush doubt leaves Oaks market 'dead'

Lush Lashes left the Juddmonte Oaks market in a state of flux after her striking success in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.

Ladbrokes immediately went 2-1, Coral and totesport 5-2 and Stan James 11-4 after the Guineas sixth powered home by a thumping five lengths from Cape Amber.

But trainer Jim Bolger is eyeing a crack at the Irish equivalent, with William Hill and Cashmans went 6-4 ’with a run’ for Epsom as a result.

Totesport spokesman Damian Walker summed it up when he said: “We’ve gone 5-2 from 10-1 about Lush Lashes and would have gone even shorter if connections had confirmed Epsom as her next target.

“At this moment in time, the Oaks is dead as an ante-post betting race.

“Punters would be mad to back Lush Lashes until her participation is confirmed and equally, why would anyone want to back anything else in the race until running plans for the short-priced favourite have been decided?”

The trainer’s travelling head lad Ger Flynn said after the filly’s 2-1 success under Kevin Manning: “The boss has just been on the phone and he says we’re not going to rule anything out.

“At the moment the Oaks at Epsom and the Curragh are on the cards, but it will more likely be the Curragh.

“That is her second trip over here so we need to see how much the race has taken out of her, and how many kilos she has lost.

“There is a good break between now and the Irish Oaks, but Epsom is only three weeks away.”

Richard Hannon’s Assertive finally broke his Group-race duck in the Duke Of York Hearthstead Homes Stakes.

The five-year-old had come up short in 15 previous attempts in Pattern company but given an aggressive ride by former champion jockey Ryan Moore, he held off War Artist by a neck.

Both were given 16-1 quotes for the Golden Jubilee by Paddy Power.

“He really deserved that,” said Richard Hannon junior, the winning trainer’s son and assistant.

“He ran a super race first time this season when just beaten in the Abernant because he really needed that. He’ll probably go for the Golden Jubilee next.”

Godolphin opened their European account for 2008 when Folk Opera rallied gamely to land the William Birch And Sons Construction Stakes.

Frankie Dettori was always prominent on the former Michael Jarvis-trained filly and the 6-1 shot beat Tastahil by three-quarters of a length.

Saeed bin Suroor said: “We started her back over a mile and a quarter but she really wants a mile and a half, so we will try and find a Listed race for her over that trip.”

Ed Dunlop unleashed a colt of Royal Ascot potential when the previously-unraced Masamah comfortably landed the Happy Birthday To Blue Square Prices EBF Novice Stakes.

“It was a very fast time and would have been even faster if he had gone in a straight line,” said Dunlop.

“He’s bred to be a two-year-old and we’ll consider Royal Ascot if he keeps going the right way.”

William Haggas had the look of a contented man after Collection (11-4 favourite) showed why he is held in such high regard at home.

The Derby entry met plenty of trouble in running but flew down the outside to win the Stratford Place Breeds Black Type Winners Stakes by two and a half lengths.

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