Wednesday: Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, York
The Cazoo Oaks picture was set alight by Emily Upjohn, who was cut to a best-priced 6-4 for the Epsom Classic after scorching home in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes.
Sent off the 4-7 favourite for one of the key trials for the race on June 3, Emily Upjohn earned comparisons with joint-trainer John Gosden's past Epsom heroines with a totally dominant success under Frankie Dettori.
Keen when trapped out a little wide in the early stages, the daughter of Sea The Stars got into her rhythm and improved the further she went, suggesting the step up to 1m4f at Epsom will play to her strengths.
"She quickened up well and couldn't have done it any better really," said Gosden. "I had a lot of respect for the field and it was a very solid performance. She's a lovely filly and she's learned a lot about life today.
"She had no cover and she settled after a furlong and found a lovely rhythm. It was the first time she's seen a crowd to be saddled around and she got a bit edgy. She had a red hood on to the start and we'll keep that on and she likes to show off and enjoy herself.
"She's out of an Aga Khan family and there's plenty of stamina there. The mile and a half will be right up her alley and is where she'll probably stay after this."
Emily Upjohn, named after a character in the Marx brothers' 1930s film A Day At The Races, played another starring role after her explosive victory in a Sandown fillies' novice last month.
She was shortened to 6-4 (from 7-2 joint-favourite) by Paddy Power for the Oaks and gives the Gosden yard leading claims of a fourth win in the Epsom Classic.
Expert view: 'I fully expect her to handle Epsom - she looks like the next Oaks winner'
"We'll go to Breakfast with the Stars at Epsom and have a canter round there to see how she handles it," added Gosden. "We've been lucky to win the race three times and she very much deserves to be in that class and we very much hope to go to the Oaks."
Dettori, who went clear of Steve Cauthen as the leading rider in the Musidora following his sixth success, won the Oaks last year on Snowfall and is excited about returning with Emily Upjohn.
"She's keen but she's in control – you want her like that," he said. "The ground was a lot deeper than you think and everybody was struggling from four out. From two and a half to the winning post I never saw another horse and she won in good style.
"At this stage Enable won at Chester and she's probably in the same park. Every race she's improving and she won the trial by five lengths, so I'm delighted. We've always liked her from day one."
After missing the 1,000 Guineas with longtime ante-post favourite Inspiral, the Classic campaign had been a frustrating one for Clarehaven Stables, but Emily Upjohn lifted the spirits and St James's Palace entry Samburu gave them another reason to smile with victory in the following 7f handicap.
"It's a lovely double," said Gosden. "To come to York on the first day of the year and have a double is great."
What a performance! 👏— York Racecourse (@yorkracecourse) May 11, 2022
The exciting EMILY UPJOHN maintains her unbeaten record with a facile victory in the Group 3 @Tattersalls1766 Musidora Stakes, as she breezes clear under @FrankieDettori to score for John and @thadygosden 🏆 pic.twitter.com/afach5K733