THE point of a trials race is that it is supposed to provide a clear indication of what will happen in a forthcoming Classic. When it comes to the Investec Oaks at the end of this month, however, yesterday’s Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York has merely served to further muddy the waters. An uncertain picture at post time looks even harder to decipher now.

Nausha landed the spoils on the Knavesmire, battling her way to the front before successfully repelling a double-pronged attack from Frankellina and Entitle, who dead-heated for second.

The Roger Varian-trained filly was a 14-1 shot yesterday, and was shortened to the same price for the Oaks in the wake of her success. The bookmakers have taken notice of her victory, but were hardly knocked out.

While Nausha excelled over yesterday’s mile-and-two-furlong trip, the Oaks is run over two furlongs further, and given that she is out of top miler Kingman, her stamina is far from guaranteed.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained duo, Pink Dogwood and Hermosa, continue to head the Oaks market, along with John Gosden’s Mehdaayih, who is set to be supplemented for Epsom after her win in the Cheshire Oaks. If anything, their claims have been enhanced by their absence from yesterday’s muddling contest.

“It’s hard to tell if she’ll get the extra two furlongs,” said Nausha’s jockey Andrea Atzeni. “She’s not short of speed. She’s got a high cruising speed, but she hit the line strong and galloped on nicely.

“It’s now up to Mr Nurlan (Biazkov, owner) and Roger to decide where she’ll go next. The main thing today was to find out how good she was, because we thought she was pretty special. She’s a very good-moving filly. She’s very well balanced, so she should handle the track (at Epsom).”

Varian was relatively non-committal in the winners’ enclosure, but while the French Oaks remains an option, there is an understandable temptation to head to Epsom.

“If you go back to her two-year-old win, she won on good-to-soft at Newbury and was stretching clear at the line,” said Varian. “That was over a mile, so I was sure she would stay ten. A mile-and-a-half might be a different matter, but I was never really worried about ten and I was delighted with her

“She’ll probably be left in the Oaks. We’ll see how she comes out of the race and consider our options. She’s also in the (Prix de) Diane in France, which is over an extended ten, so she’s got all the options. I’m just delighted she’s won today. We’ll regroup and see where we go.”

While Nausha displayed commendable bottle to repel her rivals in the final furlong, the Oaks entry to take from yesterday’s race might well be the far less experienced Frankellina.

If you’re going to be a daughter of Frankel, you had better be good. If you’re going to be a daughter of Frankel called Frankellina, you had better be exceptional, and while the William Haggas-trained filly couldn’t quite get her head in front yesterday, she looks capable of producing better once she puts any greenness behind her.

Having dwelt in the stalls, Frankellina lost around four lengths at the start yesterday, but once James Doyle got her settled, she loomed impressively on the outside.

She lost her composure momentarily once she came off the bridle, but stuck on gamely to dead-heat for second, resulting in quotes of around 10-1 for the Oaks. On another day, it is easy to imagine her turning the tables on Nausha.

The same is true of Entitle, who finished alongside her, and who is equally as well-bred, being a half-sister to the dual Arc winner Enable.

Entitle was regarded as John Gosden’s second string when it came to both jockey bookings and her place in the market, but she comfortably outperformed the disappointing favourite, Sparkle Roll, and will also head to Epsom as a live Oaks contender.

Entitle stumbled in the closing stages, potentially losing ground at a crucial stage, and should improve if she lines up in the Oaks. Sparkle Roll never looked happy in mid-division, eventually finishing seventh.