06/02/2009 11:00PM

Distance a key for Rainbow View


Rainbow View, attempting to bounce back from a disappointing effort as the favorite in the 1000 Guineas, must overcome a quartet of improving fillies at Epsom on Friday if she is to land classic honors in the $580,000 English Oaks.

Rainbow View, owned by George Strawbridge and trained by John Gosden, was Europe's juvenile filly champion last year. She blemished her perfect record when fifth in the Newmarket mile, but is expected to do better over the Oaks 12-furlong trip.

Gosden breezed her at Epsom last week and has been making positive noises since then about her fitness. Jimmy Fortune will have the job of steering Rainbow View around the roller coaster-like Oaks course, which on Wednesday was listed as good, good to firm in places, with only light rain expected on Friday morning.

The average winning distance in Europe of Rainbow View's sire, Dynaformer, is just over 1 1/4 miles, while Rainbow View's dam, No Matter What, won the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Oaks, so there is no guarantee that she will stay 1 1/2 miles at this Group 1 level. Ladbrokes lists her as its 3-1 second favorite after the 5-2 Sariska, the winner of the 1 1/4-mile, 88-yard Group 3 Musidora Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths. By Pivotal, Sariska is out of a Muhtarram dam from a stout-hearted family filled with winners between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 miles. Michael Bell will give a leg up to Jamie Spencer.

Eight-time Oaks winner Henry Cecil will saddle the dangerous Midday. By the outstanding sprint stallion Oasis Dream, she is out of a Kingmambo mare who is a half-sister to Cecil's 1997 Oaks winner, Reams of Verse. Midday prepped with a big six-length score in the listed Lingfield Oaks Trial at 1 7/16 miles and will be ridden by Tim Queally.

The Galileo filly Perfect Truth won the listed 1 3/8-mile Cheshire Oaks for Aidan O'Brien on May 6, defeating the Michael Stoute-trained Phillipina by a short head. Both would have to improve to crack the first three in the English Oaks.

Last year's English Oaks winner, Look Here, makes her seasonal debut going 1 1/2 miles in the Group 1, $373,000 Coronation Cup. A Ralph Beckett-trained daughter of Hernando, Look Here has been away from the races since finishing 6 1/4 lengths third to Conduit in the St. Leger Stakes on Sept. 13, and will be meeting some in-form older horses.

One of those is Youmzain, runner-up in the last two runnings of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and second in this race last year. He was 2 1/2 lengths fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic on March 29. The narrow Sheema Classic winner, Eastern Anthem, will be making his first start for Godolphin with Frankie Dettori replacing Ahmed Ajtebi in the saddle.

The Michael Stoute-trained Ask is cutting back two furlongs after his six-length romp in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, while last year's Irish Derby winner, Frozen Fire, must recover form a dull third in the three-runner Group 3 Ormonde Stakes three weeks ago. The Ormonde was won by Buccellati off a painfully slow pace, but the runner-up that day, Scintillo, paid him a compliment by winning the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly on Sunday.

* HRTV will have live coverage of both the Coronation Cup (9:45 a.m. Eastern) and the English Oaks (11:05 a.m.).