Bookies think it's all Alexandrova

Alexandrova is a red-hot favourite to make it a hat-trick of big-race wins in tomorrow’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York.

Alexandrova is a red-hot favourite to make it a hat-trick of big-race wins in tomorrow’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York.

Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider will be bidding to follow up facile successes in both the English and Irish Oaks, and is a 1-2 chance with VC Bet to do just that, with Ladbrokes going 4-7.

The Sadler’s Wells filly was an easy six-length scorer at Epsom before going on to notch a four-length victory at the Curragh.

Alexandrova has not been seen since the Irish Classic but O’Brien had always planned to give her a break before coming to York.

He said: “She’s in good form.

“We planned to go straight to the Yorkshire Oaks after she won the Irish Oaks and we’ve been very happy with her since that win.”

Alexandrova will face five rivals, including Lancashire Oaks victor Allegretto.

Sir Michael Stoute’s three-year-old beat Local Spirit by three lengths in the 12-furlong Group Two last month

“Obviously it is a tough ask for her but having won a Group Two, this was the logical step,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.

“It’s probably a case of the more rain the better for her but I think she goes well on both good and good to soft ground.

“She seems to be quite progressive and the family seem to improve both with racing and age so hopefully she will go well.”

French raider Shamdala will be trying to improve on her five-length sixth behind Punctilious in last year’s renewal.

The four-year-old won the Group One Gran Premio di Milano at San Siro in June but connections are concerned by the prospect of soft ground.

“She’s extremely well, we are delighted with her but with the way the forecast is in York, the ground may go against her,” said Pat Downes, racing manager to owner the Aga Khan.

“She’s a good ground filly and although it doesn’t seem to be too bad today, they are due to get some more showers tonight and if it gets much worse, it will not suit her.

“It would be a shame if it went against her as she has been running well this year and has certainly justified the decision to keep her in training.”

Alain De Royer-Dupre’s charge is set to be partnered by Christophe Soumillon and Downes admits favourite Alexandrova will be tough to beat.

He added: “She is a very high-class filly and she will be very hard to beat but you can’t run away from one horse.”

Shamdala is a 5-1 chance with both VC Bet and Ladbrokes, with the latter firm making Short Skirt their 9-2 second-favourite.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly is the only horse to have beaten Alexandrova this season, when running out a one-and-a-quarter-length winner of the Musidora Stakes at this track in May.

Darley Yorkshire Oaks betting:

VC Bet: 1-2 Alexandrova, 5-1 Shamdala, Short Skirt, 12-1 Allegretto, 40-1 Exhibit One, 50-1 Sina Cove.

Ladbrokes: 4-7 Alexandrova, 9-2 Short Skirt, 5-1 Shamdala, 10-1 Allegretto, 40-1 Sina Cove, 50-1 Exhibit One.

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