SKYBET rate defending champion Wuheida as a 10-1 chance to retain her *Oaks title in what trainer Phil Simmonds would describe as “a disappointing year.”
Still a puppy when she overcame a tough draw (T5) and horrendous going to win at Belle Vue last December, Wuheida has only raced nine times since, but has trialled on 16 occasions.
Things started well enough in early 2018. The 29 kilo black ran a close second to Bull Run Button in the Racing Post Juvenile and was beaten in a photo finish by Dorotas Vic in the first round of the RPGTV Scottish Derby, but then things started to go wrong.
Phil said: “She picked up a wrist injury, which wasn’t serious, but would have threatened her career had she contested the semi finals. Until then, I was convinced she would make the final. She had that lay-off, then came in season, and we have been chasing it since then.
“She has taken a few batterings, in more than one case because other dogs have been incorrectly seeded, in a way that you wouldn’t see in a graded race. She is a bitch who doesn’t like to be bullied and it has made her a bit careful. She is not draw dependent, can do it from the front or off the pace, but after what has happened, I have tried to get her in races up against her own sex.
“Quite often they don’t fill. The one place where they usually do is Nottingham, and unfortunately, she doesn’t really seem to like the track. I would have entered her in Oaks trialstakes had there been any, but I am not complaining, it is what it is. I was pleased with her recent trial.
“As far as Sunday is concerned, I would hope and expect her to get through to the next round. The longer she stays in the competition, the stronger I expect her to get.”
*In the 80 year history of the English Oaks, only three bitches have retained their titles, the last being Cranog Bet in 1963/4.
|Oi Oi Upenalty||8/1|
|Bull Run Byte||14/1|
|Move Over Evie||16/1|
|Tea For Tess||20/1|
|Jet Stream Proof||25/1|
|Mustang Kay Cee||28/1|
|Courts Ad Darcy||66/1|
|Courts Ad Lee||66/1|
|Our Sparkle Lady||66/1|
|Black Eyed Hula||80/1|
|Old Fort Brandy||150/1|