Covert Love to make it an Oaks double - Thursday, August 20 racing preview

Covert Love ridden by Pat Smullen wins the Darley Irish Oaks  at The Curragh last month and is hoping to add the Yorkshire Oaks at York. Photo:   Pat Healy/PA Wire
Covert Love ridden by Pat Smullen wins the Darley Irish Oaks at The Curragh last month and is hoping to add the Yorkshire Oaks at York. Photo: Pat Healy/PA Wire

Covert Love appears the safest option in a trappy-looking Darley Yorkshire Oaks on the second afternoon of the Ebor meeting at York.

It would not be a complete surprise if there is a shock in the mile-and-a-half Group One feature, but all the signs are Hugo Palmer’s three-year-old is a progressive individual and is capable of following up her Irish Oaks triumph.

Palmer bravely took the plunge to supplement her at the Curragh and the move paid a handsome dividend as the daughter of Azamour stayed on strongly to beat Jack Naylor and favourite Curvy, who had previously done everything right this season.

Handy from the off in a race run at a brisk pace, she was there to be shot at but showed all the right qualities to come home in front.

Given the manner in which she did it, it looks like the long galloping Knavesmire straight will be very much up her street and the sky will be the limit if she can take this in similar style.

The most exciting horse on display at York could end up being Lumiere, who will hopefully light up proceedings with a smart display in the Pinsent Masons Lowther Stakes.

A brilliant all-the-way performance at Newmarket’s July meeting was the talk of Headquarters and, judged on post-race comments, was not unexpected given her work at home.

Six lengths was the winning margin and while this represents a marked step up in class, it is going to take something pretty special to stop Mark Johnston’s filly gaining Group Two honours and, with it, probably 1000 Guineas favouritism.

William Haggas should be on the mark in the valuable DBS Premier Yearling Stakes with Tasleet.

Twice a winner from his four starts, the Sheikh Hamdan-owned two-year-old sets the standard after getting closest to rising star Shalaa in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.

* Selections -

York: 1.55 Tasleet, 2.30 Lumiere, 3.05 Chil The Kite, 3.40 COVERT LOVE (NAP), 4.20 Shoal, 4.55 Enlace.

Chepstow: 2.10 Just Glamorous, 2.45 Tarando, 3.20 Lamyaa, 3.55 Zeteah, 4.30 Edge, 5.05 Our Folly, 5.35 High Admiral, 6.05 Petrify.

Hamilton: 5.10 Nimr, 5.40 A Lovable Rogue, 6.10 Riponian, 6.40 Haymarket, 7.10 Deep Resolve, 7.40 Gathurst, 8.10 Tyfos.

Lingfield: 5.00 Human Nature, 5.30 Maymyo, 6.00 Magical Effect, 6.30 Blue Amazon, 7.00 Arcamante, 7.30 Layline, 8.00 Western Playboy.

Stratford: 2.20 Mountainside, 2.55 Number One London, 3.30 Stephen Hero, 4.05 The Kvilleken, 4.40 Days Ahead, 5.15 Cabin Fever, 5.45 Alyasan.

Double: Covert Love and Lumiere.