Oscula in Royal Ascot picture after continuing golden run of Boughey juveniles

Royal Ascot could be the next port of call for Oscula following an impressive victory in the Cazoo Woodcote EBF Stakes at Epsom.

Third on her racecourse debut at Kempton last month, the Nick Bradley Racing-owned filly went a couple of places better at Brighton five days later to earn herself a step up in class in the opening race on Oaks day.

A quick start enabled apprentice rider Mark Crehan to navigate the 15-2 chance to the front and it was clear with a couple of furlongs still to run that her rivals would struggle to peg her back.

Flaming Rib did best of those attempting to close the gap, but Oscula passed the post three lengths the good – providing trainer George Boughey with yet another juvenile winner this season.

“It was a pretty good performance, I think,” said the Newmarket handler.

“Her work had been good and we intentionally took her to Brighton before coming here to give her a chance to come down a hill.

“We didn’t really have Royal Ascot aspirations before then. We thought we might go for the Woodcote and then go to the Empress Stakes at Newmarket, but Mark got off the horse at Brighton – he has ridden a lot of our two-year-olds this year – and he was very bullish.

“She’s by Galileo Gold and there’s plenty of stamina her pedigree – I think she will get a mile. She’s a long filly who is still quite immature and hasn’t really come in her summer coat yet – she’s got a lot of upside.”

Boughey added: “We’ll have a chat to Nick and see what the owners want to do, but the Albany Stakes (at Royal Ascot) has got to be a consideration.

“She made her debut at Kempton, five days later she won at Brighton and then 11 days later she’s done that day.

“It would be a pretty quick back-up from a big day like today, but we’ll certainly be looking at it.”

A delighted Crehan said: “She’s like an older horse, nothing bothers her. She went there lovely and came back even better.

“She handled Brighton well and that was the idea. If she handled Brighton she’d handle Epsom and she’s done that.

Mark Crehan and George Boughey celebrate
Mark Crehan and George Boughey celebrate (Mike Egerton/Jockey Club)

“I got racing early, but you can get away with that here. She’s very game. She keeps finding for you.

“I didn’t expect her to win that well. She’s certainly improving.”

Of a winner on Oaks day, Crehan, who claims 5lb, added: “I can’t explain (what it means). I only had one winner last year. All credit goes to my boss – he’s been very, very good to me. I can’t believe it.”

Hollie Doyle steered Corazon Espinado to his fourth win on the Downs in the Coral ‘Beaten By A Length’ Free Bet Handicap.

Corazon Espinado and Hollie Doyle after winning again at Epsom
Corazon Espinado and Hollie Doyle after winning again at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

Trained locally by Simon Dow, the 12-1 shot raced on the speed and comfortably pulled three and a half lengths clear of Hortzadar.

Dow said: “His stable is just across the road – he’s incredible.

“He loves Lingfield and he loves Epsom. It’s a tremendous achievement for the little horse to win on Oaks day twice.

“The draw and the easing ground was against us, so we were a little cautious – but he goes round there like he’s on rails.

“There aren’t enough superlatives for Hollie – it’s always a privilege to have her.”

Doyle said: “Everything went to plan, though he was over-racing early on. Franny (Norton, on Overwrite) and I had it pretty easy on the front end.

“He’s such a course specialist I just let go of his head coming down Tattenham Corner and he took me into the race beautifully.”

Blue Cup was a winner for Oisin Murphy
Blue Cup was a winner for Oisin Murphy (John Walton/PA)

Blue Cup came from the back of the field to win the Cazoo Handicap for Oisin Murphy and David Menuisier.

Data Protection and Dream With Me were involved in a protracted duel up front, building up a 10-length lead at one point before their exertions started to tell in the final couple of furlongs.

The field switched across the track to race up the nearside rail for the first time, as conditions continued to worsen, and Murphy took full advantage of the better ground – delivering his mount with around a furlong to run.

Blue Cup pulled further clear inside the distance, relishing every yard to come home five and a half lengths in front as the 9-2 favourite.

Victory Chime was second, with the game Data Protection taking third.

Murphy said: “I wasn’t sure how far the leaders had got in front of me.

“The kickback is obviously very bad, and it’s hard to see with the conditions.

“This horse isn’t easy. They’ve taken the ring bit off, which is a more severe bit, and put a very plain bit in his mouth – and he relaxed super today.

“David Menuisier is a very good trainer, and I think he’s found the key to this fella.

“I didn’t expect them to (come up the stands rail), but I thought it may happen at some stage today – so it was always a possibility.”

James Doyle guides Rhoscolyn home
James Doyle guides Rhoscolyn home (John Walton/PA)

Rhoscolyn completed a treble in smooth fashion under James Doyle in the Cazoo Derby Festival Handicap.

David Meara’s three-year-old burst through the pack to challenge long-time leader Paws For Thought over a furlong out.

Quickening nicely, the 9-2 winner soon had the race sewn up and crossed the line with a handy advantage over Shelir in second and On A Session in third.

O’Meara said: “We deliberated at length at Beverley a couple of runs back whether to run him on soft ground. We weren’t sure if he’d handle it, but we took a chance and he seems to enjoy it.

“He looks a very progressive horse. I thought today was a great performance.

“At Beverley and Goodwood he made the running and had everything his own way. Today he was in behind and was off the bridle a long way out.

“I didn’t think he’d find and finish off like he had done in his two previous races, but he showed a different quality today.

“He had form on quicker ground before he came to us. He seems to like these turning tracks and seven furlongs so I wonder if he could make up into a Lennox (Stakes at Goodwood) horse, maybe?

“It looked today like he could make that next step.”

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