There are many trainers who should fit in the top bracket but we concentrate on just three who have known success in the Epsom Oaks.
Sir Henry Cecil
Sir Henry Cecil has a name that has become synonymous with Classic wins, particularly the Epsom Oaks, where the great trainer has saddled eight winners, the most recent one being Light Shift in 2007 Epsom Oaks.
His first win in the race came in 1985, when Oh So Sharp, who had already won the 1000 Guineas came home in fine style and who then became the last filly to win the fillies Triple Crown, when she won the St Leger. She was an amazing horse and it was geat credit to Cecil who managed to trainer to victory from 1 mile to 1 mile six furlongs.
His other seven winners came with Diminuendo (1988), Snow Bride (1989), Lady Carla (1996), Reams Of Verse (1997), Ramruma (1999), Love Divine(2000) and most recently Light Shift in 2007.
For several years Cecil has been fighting a personal battle against stomach cancer, but his enthusiasm remains undiminished for racing and he will no doubt be back this year with an Epsom Oaks runner or two who will be in with a great chance.
The Master of Ballydoyle has already become a legend in his own lifetime and is probably the most revered trainer in Europe today. O’Brien who trained 23 Group One winners last season will no doubt be on the hunt for more top glory this year and one of his targets will undoubtedly be the Epsom Oaks. He has saddled three winners of the race so far and will possibly have as many as six in this year’s race. For punters it is essential that you keep notes on the O’Brien horses, there were many who take advantage of an Epsom Oaks Free bet with one of his runners last year.
His three winners so far were Shatoushe (1998), Imagine (2001) and Alexandrova who won the 2006 Epsom Oaks.
Probably the best known winner of the Epsom Oaks over the past few years was the incomparable, Ouija Board, who won the race in 2004 and was trained by Ed Dunlop. Ouija Board became one of the bst known horses in the world, but it was trainer Dunlop who brought her on after recognising her potential in her early years. Dunlop is the son of another famous trainer, John Dunlop. Ouija Board and Dunlop had a remarkable three years together during which time she followed up her Oaks win, with a win in the Irish Oaks. She alos won two Breeders Cup Turfs in 2004 and 2006, plus she claimed four other Group One victories. Dunlop also won the 2010 Oaks with Snow Fairy