Aidan O’Brien worried over ground for Oaks team

Aidan O’Brien admits the forecast soft ground is not ideal for any of his five runners in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday.

It is 20 years since the Ballydoyle handler first claimed the fillies’ Classic with Shahtoush and he has since stretched his tally to six with Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015) and Minding (2016).

This year’s challenge is headed by Magic Wand and Forever Together, who finished first and second respectively in the Cheshire Oaks a little over three weeks ago.

O’Brien told Press Association Sport: “Magic Wand is in good form and we’ve been happy with her since Chester.

“She’s progressed with all her runs so far this year. I’m not sure about the ground. She ran in bad ground the first day and ran well, but she progressed a lot to her second run.

“I don’t think the soft ground is ideal for any of ours, really, but I suppose a lot of horses are in the same boat.”

Of Forever Together, the trainer added: “She’s in good form and ran very well at Chester, too. She has come forward as well, we think.

“Obviously the ground we’re not sure about but we’re happy with her.”

Bye Bye Baby is another interesting contender for the all-conquering team following a Group Three triumph in the Blue Wind Stakes at the Curragh.

Lingfield Oaks Trial third Flattering and I Can Fly, who disappointed in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, complete the O’Brien team.

“Bye Bye Baby has form with ease in the ground. She stays and is a tough, hardy filly,” said O’Brien.

“She seems to have handled the soft ground in the past and is in good form since the Curragh.

“Flattering has form on soft ground as well, and we’ve always thought she would stay a mile and a half. She’s been in good form since Lingfield.

“I Can Fly is in in good form. She was disappointing in the Guineas and we’re not sure the reason why.

“She’s out of a Montjeu mare so we think, and hope, that she might get the trip. She will be ridden patiently.

“We’re happy with her and her work has been very nice since Newmarket.”

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