05/31/2005 11:00PM

Cassydora set for Oaks win

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Cassydora can give trainer John Dunlop his third English Oaks victory at Epsom on Friday when 12 fillies line up for the classic 1 1/2-mile Group 1 test.

Preference for Cassydora is the result of her handy six-length score in the listed Lingfield Oaks Trial on May 7 on a course not dissimilar to Epsom's difficult twists and turns.

Her two main rivals are Eswarah and Something Exciting. Eswarah is Ladbrokes' 2-1 choice off her 1 1/4-mile listed tally at Newbury on May 13. Something Exciting quickened well to land the listed 1 1/4-mile Lupe Stakes at Goodwood on May 18 to make it four of her last five.

Aidan O'Brien will saddle three for the $695,000 fillies showpiece, the best of them the English 1000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters. She must, however, bounce back after a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Irish 1000 Guineas.

On the same card, Warrsan goes in search of his third straight win in the Group 1, $452,000 Coronation Cup at 1 1/2 miles, but the 7-year-old has been off form of late.

Alkaased's recent victory in the 1 1/2-mile Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes makes him dangerous, but the class of the field may be Yeats. Trained by O'Brien, he would have started as the favorite for last year's Epsom Derby but missed the race with an injury. Second in an inconclusive return at The Curragh on May 2, he looks ready to confirm his high promise.

* Jockey Johnny Murtagh's three-day suspension was reduced to two days on Wednesday, leaving him free to ride 5-2 favorite Motivator in the Epsom Derby on Saturday.