Oscula sets the standard in the British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes at Carlisle on Wednesday, which also sees the historic Carlisle Bell run.
The George Boughey-trained filly won the Woodcote at Epsom last year before going on to claim Group Three glory in France, as well as finishing third in the Prix Marcel Boussac.
An exploratory trip to Saudi Arabia on dirt did not pay off, but she proved she had trained on when second to Ever Given at Epsom recently.
“Her work at home has never been outstanding, it’s always been good but never outstanding,” said Nick Bradley, in whose syndicate colours the three-year-old runs.
“At Epsom you could she she was in good form, she was pawing at the gate and tried her heart out.
“We were very happy with that run. We decided to skip Ascot in favour of this, I think Noble Truth would have beaten her in the Jersey and I don’t think she’d have been in the first three in the Sandringham. I might be wrong, but that’s my gut feeling.
“She must go there with a very good chance and it looks like Snooze N You Lose is the main danger having won at Musselburgh last time out. She should be there or thereabouts.”
Snooze N You Lose was a Listed winner at Musselburgh and is one of two runners for Karl Burke, who also runs Honey Sweet in the Bradley silks.
“Honey Sweet also had a Listed penalty when she ran at Epsom so her and Oscula meet on the same terms – it’s hard to see her turning it around, although I do think at Epsom she wasn’t on the favoured part of the track,” said Bradley.
“Her run behind Noble Truth at Newmarket (King Charles II Stakes) would put her in the frame if she could reproduce that.”
Burke feels Snooze N You Lose should once again be in the mix.
“Both fillies are very well and both go there with a great chance,” he said.
“They’ve both got Listed penalties but track and ground should be fine for them.
“If Snooze N You Lose can replicate her last run she shouldn’t be far away.”
The Carlisle Bell, first run in 1599, is reportedly the oldest trophy in sport and a competitive field of 15 will line up this year.
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