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Ramruma still holds call in Oaks market; Cecil filly tops lists but layers are at odds.

A competent if unspectacular win by Ramruma at Lingfield on Saturday consolidated her position as favourite for the Vodafone Oaks, writes Jon Lees.

Henry Cecil is bidding for his third victory in the Epsom Classic in four years following Ramruma's length-and-a-half win over Credit-A-Plenty in the Victor Chandler Oaks Trial.

The daughter of Diesis is favourite all round for Epsom on June 4, though bookmakers' quotes vary to an unusual degree.

Coral make her as short as 5-2 favourite (from 11-2), while Chandlers offer 3-1. William Hill cut her to 7-2 (from 9-2) as did the Tote (from 5), and Ladbrokes clipped her half a point to 9-2 (from 5).

Ramruma, ridden by Kieren Fallon, was an 8-15 chance to repeat the success of her sister Ausherra in 1991. She was in front with three furlongs to run and though Credit-A-Plenty and Noushkey, both appearing for the first time this year, loomed up to threaten briefly, she found sufficient to pull away again inside the final furlong.

Cecil used the Listed race as a stepping stone to Oaks success with Lady Carla in 1996 and he saw similarities between the pair.

Of Ramruma, he said: "The race will educate her. She won in the same sort of way as Lady Carla did. She was not doing anything in front, she is just lazy.

"But she acted on the track and now we will have a crack at the Oaks. We will give her a little breather and bring her up to her peak on the big day."

Credit-A-Plenty races in the same Hesmonds Stud colours as Oaks second favourite Claxon, also trained by John

Dunlop.

Hills gave Credit-A-Plenty a 14-1 quote for Epsom, but Dunlop indicated that he was not initially impressed by the form of the race.

"I am very pleased with the filly," he said. "She is very inexperienced, as she won in a small field last year. But I wouldn't think that was Oaks form."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Lees, Jon
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 10, 1999
Words:328
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