After the Irish trainers annihilated the British at the Cheltenham Festival, flat trainers from the other side of the British Isles will be hoping to have the same effect in the Classics this season.
The 1000 Guineas crops up on the calendar first for the three-year-old fillies, with The Oaks following only four weeks later.
Santa Barbara (4/1 – Boylesport)
The filly was described as “looking like a five-year-old colt” by her trainer and has been showing plenty of speed and class in training.
The three-year-old does currently only have one start under her belt, winning a one-mile maiden by two and a half lengths back in September.
Her yard is seriously confident with her as she will be heading to the 1000 Guineas without a trial run and if Santa Barbara comes out on top at Newmarket, her price for this contest will plummet further.
Pretty Gorgeous (16/1 – Various)
It could well be a family affair on the Downs, as Joseph O’Brien possesses a smart filly that could take on his father in The Oaks.
Pretty Gorgeous was pretty consistent in Grouped company as a two-year-old, winning the Debutante Stakes and the Fillies’ Mile and placing in the Silver Flash Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Described as an ‘outstanding physical specimen’ by her trainer, Pretty Gorgeous should continue her progress as a top-class contender this season and looks the better value at this stage compared to High Definition.
Port Sunlight (25/1 – Various)
A filly with an interesting pedigree, Port Sunlight could hold the credentials to compete in The Oaks this term.
Dermot Weld’s runner got off the mark on her second outing, winning a fillies maiden race comfortably on testing ground.
Her dam (Liber Nauticus) won the Musidora Stakes before taking a creditable fifth in The Oaks and is a half-sister to winners Miss Celestial and Hidden Depths.
The three-year-old is also closely related to dual Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Conduit, who was victorious at the 1m4f distance four times in his career.
If Port Sunlight can show her versatility on quicker ground, then she could be one of interest in this year’s renewal of The Oaks.