2021 Darley Yorkshire Oaks: Betting Favourites and Top Contenders for York Clash

One of the most anticipated race weekends of England’s summer season will be headlined by the 2021 Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday, August 19.

The winner of this year’s race will earn more than £220,000 in prize money, and Aidan O’Brien star Love looking to become the Yorkshire Oaks’ first back-to-back winner since 2002-03.

The defending champion may not be the favourite, however, considering another of O’Brien’s top fillies, Snowfall, is in frame to lead his list of contenders at the York meet.

SportQuestion.com dissects a selection of the leading horses likely to challenge for the top prize in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, including one veteran who’s yet to race thus far in 2021.

Snowfall (4/7)

Enable became the most recent horse to win the Yorkshire Oaks on two occasions following victories in 2017 and 2019, and Snowfall can spoil Love’s party if the 4/7 favourite succeeds at York.

Trainer Mathew Dawson’s record of nine Yorkshire Oaks victories may never be beaten, but O’Brien is at least climbing closer in the stakes as he eyes his sixth triumph in this race.

And Snowfall could be just the horse to do it after she’s won all three of her races so far in 2021, including her most recent success in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July:

The BBC quoted O’Brien following that result when he praised Snowfall as “very smart and she has a lot of quality,” and it’s difficult to disagree as she seeks to join her stable-mate in winning this race.

Love (4/1)

Next in line according to the horse racing experts is Love, a 4/1 shot who could be worth a gamble at those odds considering she’s already tasted Group 1 success at York in the past year.

In fact, it will be almost 12 months to the day since Ryan Moore rode Love to victory in the 2020 Yorkshire Oaks, where she demolished the field to finish five lengths clear of Alpinista.

While there’s sure to be a lot of bookmaker money going towards the clear favourite Snowfall, there’s rarely an occasions where the progeny of legendary Galileo should be overlooked.

Tarnawa (9/2)

Rounding the selection of top fillies likely to challenge for this particular crown, Tarnawa returns to British shores after touring France and the United States during the second half of 2021.

It was a hugely successful jaunt, too, as the five-year-old finished 2020 with a perfect four wins from four, with the last of those coming in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland in November:

Almost two years removed from her most recent defeat, there’s little about the horse that’s not to love, not to mention she’ll have the edge in experience over most of her peers in York.

Ring rust may be of some concern considering trainer Dermot Weld hasn’t ridden Tarnawa since November, but then again that long respite could cause concern for her opponents to come.

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