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Horse Racing: Bookies quick to react to Alexandrova work; Oaks price for Sadler's Wells filly slashed after spectacular gallop at Ballydoyle.

Byline: By Brian Fleming

BOOKMAKERS already reeling from George Washington's 2,000 Guineas victory are bracing themselves for another bumper payout on an Aidan O'Brien-trained Classic winner, with Alexandrova yesterday the subject of drastic price cuts for the Oaks following a sparkling gallop at Ballydoyle.

The Fillies' Mile runner-up, who was yesterday reported on course for the Musidora Stakes at York next Wednesday, was halved in price to 4-1 favourite by Ladbrokes and VCbet, while William Hill went the same price from 7-1. Coral and Totesport go 9-2 (from 6 and 7).

O'Brien said: "Alexandrova is good and worked well, so I'm very happy with her and we plan on running her in the Musidora next week. We will see how she gets on in her trial, but the Oaks is a strong possibility."

The daughter of Sadler's Wells opened her account with a runaway ten-length victory on her third start at Tralee last August, before going down by a short head to Nannina in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in September.

William Hill spokeswoman Jennie Prest said yesterday: "Alexandrova is now by far the worst result in our Oaks book and punters were taking whatever price we cut her to this morning. We're still more than three weeks away from the Oaks, but after George Washington, punters are clearly taking any positive news from Ballydoyle very seriously."

Coral's David Stevens said: "We understand the filly produced a sparkling piece of work on the Ballydoyle gallops, which in turn prompted the rush of money we then saw."

VCbet's Neal Wilkins said: "The punters wouldn't be stalled off Alexandrova. It must have been a sparkling piece of work, as it was a decent punt."

Speciosa was yesterday installed at 7-1 'with a run' for the Oaks by William Hill, with connections of the 1,000 Guineas winner mulling over Epsom or the Irish 1,000 Guineas at The Curragh.

O'Brien confirmed that stable jockey Kieren Fallon will be at Longchamp on Sunday for the French 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.

He added: "At the moment we have Art Museum, Marcus Andronicus, Ivan Denisovich and James Joyce in the French 2,000 Guineas, while Kamarinskaya, Beauty Bright and Queen Cleopatra are all possible runners in the 1,000.

"We'll see closer to the time how they all are before making any definite plans."

Yeats, winner of last year's Coronation Cup at Epsom, is suffering from a hindjoint infection and has been ruled out of the Yorkshire Cup, O'Brien revealed.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 10, 2006
Words:420
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