Martyn Meade believes the experience of running in Lingfield’s Novibet Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes could prove invaluable for Technique ahead of a potential bid for Classic glory at Epsom next month.
Successful on her racecourse debut at Wolverhampton in late January, the daughter of Mastercraftsman marked herself out as an Oaks contender when narrowly beaten by Wirko in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom two and a half weeks ago.
In the immediate aftermath, Meade suggested his filly could head straight for the Cazoo-sponsored showpiece on June 4, but ultimately decided to give her another outing in this weekend’s Listed contest.
“She’s in good shape and obviously coped with Epsom quite well,” said the trainer.
“Initially I thought about going straight to the Oaks, but then I thought we should step her up and make sure she absolutely gets the mile and a half – and having only run twice, I think that bit more experience might help as well.
“We’ve got plenty of time to be able to do it, so she’ll go and take her chance.”
Meade admits the disappointing performance of Wirko in Wednesday’s Chester Vase tempers enthusiasm to some degree, but is nevertheless confident Technique can prove her worth on Saturday.
He added: “It would have been nice to see him (Wirko) boost the form, but that wasn’t to be and maybe that was down to the track or something.
“Technique’s work at home has been good and she came out of Epsom very well, so we’ll roll the dice.
“I think she’ll be fine on slightly softer ground. I don’t think that will be a problem at this stage.”
Hugo Palmer’s Ocean Road has all the right credentials to make up into a nice three-year-old.
Related to Michael Bell’s globetrotter Wigmore Hall, she broke her maiden at the second time of asking with an impressive display on the all-weather at this venue in December.
Palmer said: “She’s done well through the winter and she looks a lot stronger now. Her work has all pointed towards an Oaks trial and now we are at that juncture.
“She’s a half-sister to Wigmore Hall and she’s by a Derby winner (Australia), so she deserves a chance to see what she can do.
“We’re running in a trial to tell us where we are and we’ll know an awful lot more after it.
“The Oaks picture does look open, but we are only halfway through the trials I suppose – we’ve still got the Musidora at York, the Goodwood race and a few others and who knows what is still to come out of Ballydoyle?”
Charlie Appleby’s Nash Nasha has also won on the all-weather at Lingfield and battled well to defy a 7lb penalty on her return to action at Sandown a fortnight ago.
“She’s come out of her last race well and already has a bit of experience there (Lingfield). Admittedly it was on the all-weather, but she’s been there at least,” said Appleby.
“We thought the ground was going to be pretty soft at Chester, so we thought it might be more sensible ground for her at Lingfield.”
John Gosden has saddled three of the last four winners of the Oaks Trial. Now in partnership with son Thady, the Clarehaven handler this year has two contenders, with Frankie Dettori partnering Loving Dream and Martin Harley booked to ride Regent.
Aidan O’Brien’s Divinely is the sole Irish representative, while the Marco Botti-trained Invite, Roger Varian’s Save A Forest and Sherbet Lemon from Archie Watson’s yard complete the line-up.
Ryan Moore, who rides Divinely, told Betfair: “There is some rain around on Saturday and that wouldn’t inconvenience her, as she won her Group Three at the Curragh on heavy ground before running slightly below that level upped in class in the Moyglare.
“She is a sister to Found, so you have to view the step up in trip positively, so she has definite prospects in an open race.”