Horses To Follow » Oasis Fantasy

Oasis Fantasy

Oasis Fantasy did well to get as close as he did in the 12-furlong handicap at Epsom on Derby day.

Drawn 19 of 20, Richard Hughes took his time with Ed Dunlop’s horse through the early stages of the race. He allowed him drift back in the field to about fourth last of the 20 runners as Buthelezi and Masali stretched the field along the back straight. Oasis Fantasy came down the hill well along the inside, but he was still a long way back as they straightened up for home. Hughes prodded and sought gaps among traffic on a horse who obviously had plenty of energy left, but the gaps really weren’t forthcoming, so he had no option but to angle to the outside as they passed the two-furlong pole. Once in the clear, Oasis Fantasy picked up, but he still had about six lengths to find with Blue Surf who had hit the front at that point and who wasn’t stopping, and he just couldn’t get there. He closed all the way to the line, getting to within a length of Blue Surf at the line, just losing out on second place by a head and doing best by far of the horses who were held up.

The Oasis Dream gelding is a continually progressive handicapper. He progressed through last season as a three-year-old, and he has continued that progression this term, despite the fact that he hasn’t won in four attempts. He ran a cracker to split the useful pair Quest For More and Boite in a fast-run race at Goodwood on his previous run, when he might have won had the ball hopped a little differently. Raised 5lb for that run, Saturday’s run was another step forward, it was probably a career best.

The handicapper has raised him another 2lb for this, and that is lenient. His new rating of 94 is a rating off which he should be able to win a decent handicap. He probably just about got the 14 furlongs at Goodwood on his only attempt at the trip, but stays a mile and a half well. A fast-run 12 furlongs is probably his optimum. He goes well on fast ground, but he is probably at his best when he can get his toe in just a little. He remains interesting.

6th June 2015