Rab Havlin hunting for first Group 1 victory with Mehdaayih in the Investec Oaks at Epsom
Red Lodge-based jockey Rab Havlin believes Mehdaayih – the favourite for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday (4.30pm) – can provide him with a cherished first Group 1 win.
The 45-year-old jockey has been an integral part of champion trainer John Gosden’s team for almost two decades and his haul of more than 900 winners in Britain includes many big races, but success at the highest level has eluded him.
However, with fellow jockey Frankie Dettori set to take up the ride on Gosden's other horse Anapurna, Havlin is hoping the drought is about to end.
“I’m glad it wasn’t me having to choose between them. Both have live chances," he said. “They are two improving fillies and you never know which one is progressing the quickest. The pair of them won their trials very well.
“Mehdaayih probably beat better fillies at Chester but Anapurna won in a time which was only half a second slower than Anthony Van Dyck in the colts’ trial on the same card, so it was a good performance by her as well. She’s done nothing wrong.
“I’ve ridden Anapurna loads of times at home. She’s probably the least exposed out of the two, having had only three runs.
“She was still very green last time. I followed her on another filly off ours (Elisheba), just to the outside, and she was running in snatches, so she will have sharpened up a lot for that run. There could be any amount of improvement in her.
“It’s exciting for Frankel, as a sire, to have two fillies of that calibre running in the Oaks.”
Friday’s £523,750 feature is the third British Classic of the season and the second race in the Fillies & Mares category of the 2019 QIPCO British Champions Series.