Racing: Gossamer surprise absentee from Oaks entries

Gossamer was a notable absentee from the entries revealed today for the Vodafone Oaks.

Gossamer was a notable absentee from the entries revealed today for the Vodafone Oaks.

The Luca Cumani-trained filly, unbeaten in her three starts as a juvenile, had been quoted at 8-1 by Coral and 10-1 by William Hill for the Epsom Classic.

Henry Cecil, who has won four of the last six runnings of the Oaks, is responsible for seven of the 94 entries.

The master of Warren Place has won the £350,000 fillies’ contest seven times in total and his entries this time include the unbeaten pair Protectress and Revealing.

Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O’Brien and Godolphin have eight entries apiece in the Oaks while Barry Hills is strongest numerically with nine.

Hills is still searching for a first victory in the race, having gone close on a number of occasions, and his entries include Alexander Three D and Muklah, who were both successful in Listed races at Newmarket as two-year-olds.

The former won the Zetland Stakes, while Muklah landed the Sweet Solera Stakes. Another interesting Hills possible is Fragrant View, who shaped with promise on her only previous outing when second in a Leicester maiden in the autumn.

O’Brien has won two of the last four renewals of the Classic, with Shahtoush in 1998 and Imagine last season, and his 2002 hopefuls include the current ante-post favourite Quarter Moon, who won last season’s Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes, Navan maiden winner Kournakova and Maryinsky, who was successful in a similar event at Gowran Park in October.

Godolphin will be looking to build on its two previous successes in 1994 with Balanchine and the following season with Moonshell (jointly owned with Maktoum Al Maktoum).

Their entries, all trained by Saeed bin Suroor, include Imperial Gesture, who made an impressive seasonal debut in February beating stable companion Seba by nine lengths in the Moonshell Mile at Nad Al Sheba, and Silent Honor, a winner of two races as a juvenile including the Group Two Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket.

Mick Channon has entered last season’s outstanding juvenile filly Queen’s Logic while John Gosden has put his Prix Marcel Boussac winner Sulk in the 12-furlong feature.

Irish-trained entries in 2002 amount to 15 and, in addition to O’Brien’s representatives, Jim Bolger, successful in 1991 with Jet Ski Lady, has entered Aqualina.

The daughter of King’s Theatre was successful at the Curragh in September while Dermot Weld, who won the fillies’ Classic in 1981 with Blue Wind, has four entries including Irresistible Jewel, Luminous Beauty, Saranac Lake, the winner of the Group Three Debutante Stakes at the Curragh, and Sun Seasons.

There are nine French-trained entries including Quelea and Summertime Legacy from Andre Fabre’s stable.

The latter won the Group Three Prix Des Reservoirs at Deauville in October and either could bid to give Fabre his second success in this contest following Intrepidity’s victory nine years ago.

Andrew Cooper, director of racing at United Racecourses, said: ‘‘The most valuable ever Vodafone Oaks has attracted a top-class international entry and we look are forwarding to seeing which fillies emerge as the leading contenders over the coming weeks in the build-up to Friday, June 7, at Epsom Downs.’’

Vodafone Oaks betting:

William Hill: 8-1 Quarter Moon, 12-1 Revealing, 16-1 Imperial Gesture, Kournakova, Protectress, 20-1 Esloob, Mount Street, Muklah, Silent Honor, 25-1 bar.

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