Happily sole O’Brien hope in French Oaks

Happily bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with a first victory in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday.

The Ballydoyle handler has never previously won the French Classic, but his latest candidate appears to hold strong claims after finishing third in both the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh this spring.

She tests her powers at a mile and a quarter for the first time this weekend and O’Brien does not expect the extra distance to be an inconvenience.

He told Press Association Sport: “Happily seems to be in good form since the Irish Guineas.

“She hasn’t done an awful lot, but what she has done we’re happy with.

“We always thought a mile and a quarter would suit her.”

Happily, the mount of Ryan Moore, is the only Irish challenger in a 13-strong field.

British hopes rest on the Karl Burke-trained Laurens, who was runner-up in the Guineas at Newmarket before going one better in the Group One Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp.

Leading contenders for the home team include Freddy Head’s pair of Luminate and With You, with Frankie Dettori riding the former for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, and Alain de Royer-Dupre’s dual winner Shahnaza.

Source.