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Ylang Ylang to spearhead O’Brien’s Oaks challenge

Ylang Ylang to spearhead O’Brien’s Oaks challenge
Ylang Ylang to spearhead O’Brien’s Oaks challenge

A crack at the Betfred Oaks is the “natural progression” for Ylang Ylang, according to Aidan O’Brien.

The Frankel filly only ran one below-par race in her juvenile season, a campaign she ended with victory in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

She returned to the Rowley Mile for the 1000 Guineas, finishing a staying-on fifth and looking every inch made for the Oaks in the process.

She will be joined at Epsom next month by Rubies Are Red, who really took the eye in coming from way back to take second in the Lingfield Oaks Trial at the weekend.

“We’ve been very happy with Ylang Ylang,” said O’Brien.

“She’s always looked an Oaks filly more than a Guineas filly, but we let her run in the Guineas and she ran very well. Ryan let her find her feet and she was coming home very well.

“She won the first two times ridden forwards, but that was just the way it happened. Then she was a little bit keen and got beaten twice. She ran a shocker in the Moyglare, but then got back in the right mindset and she turned all that form around in the Guineas, they were a good bit behind her so it’s amazing how things can swing around.

“Ryan (Moore) is confident that 10 furlongs will be no problem at all to her and if they stay 10 furlongs, there’s usually a good chance of staying 12 furlongs at Epsom.

“Going from the Guineas to the Oaks is just a natural progression and what we’ve always thought she would do.

“She’s by Frankel and he speaks for himself.”

In contrast to her more decorated stablemate, Rubies Are Red is still a maiden after three starts. She is, however, bred to be good and the daughter of Galileo promises to be much wiser for the experience of Lingfield.

“Rubies Are Red is unusual, she’s a sister to Found. She had a run last year and surprised us,” explained O’Brien.

“She’s just a baby, when we took her to Leopardstown for her maiden we thought she’d still win, but one of Joseph’s (O’Brien, Galileo Dame) beat her easily.

“The plan was always to go to Lingfield and we said we’d stick to it rather than go back for a maiden, but unfortunately she was a bit green coming down the hill and that meant because he was nursing her, she got back a long way and got caught a bit far out of her ground. She’s definitely an Oaks type.

“Ryan said that when he got her levelled she absolutely flew home and she would have won in another couple of strides. Unfortunately she was just all at sea coming down the hill.

“Found was a bit bigger, but this one is a bit stronger. Her run style is very much like Found though, as she wants to take her time and come late. Found didn’t like being in front too long, she’d always think she’d done enough.”

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