Filly Taghrooda Takes Aim at Ascot History
Photo: AP Photo
Taghrooda won the 2014 Investec Epsom Oaks.

Classic-winning 3-year-old filly Taghrooda will face older males July 26, when she starts from post seven in the expected field of nine for the £567,100 ($965,000) King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO Champions Series (Eng-I) at Ascot.

The Shadwell homebred will try to become just the second Investec (Epsom) Oaks (Eng-I) winner to take the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the same year. She would join 1976 English and French Horse of the Year Pawneese as the only fillies to complete that considerable double.

Taghrooda will be making her first start since cruising to a 3 3/4-length victory in the Oaks, which like the King George and Queen Elizabeth is contested at 1 1/2 miles. The daughter of Sea The Stars has won all three of her career starts for Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell operation.

Trained by John Gosden, who also will start recent King Edward VII Stakes (Eng-II) winner Eagle Top and classic-placed Romsdal in Saturday's race, Taghrooda will be guided by regular rider Paul Hanagan.

Angus Gold, Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager, issued a positive bulletin over the prospects of Taghrooda.

"Everything has gone very well with Taghrooda, she's been working very well and looks fantastic," Gold said in a release. "She seems very happy in herself mentally."

The likely favorite in Saturday's test will be Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-Wavertree's Telescope, who like Taghrooda enters off an impressive victory at the Royal Ascot meeting. Telescope overwhelmed nine rivals in winning the Hardwicke Stakes (Eng-II) by seven lengths June 21. The Hardwicke also is contested at 1 1/2 miles.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Telescope also boasts a victory in last year's Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes (Eng-II).The 4-year-old Galileo colt has never finished worse than second in his eight career races and will make his group I debut.

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth also will feature last year's Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) winner Magician, who enters off a runner-up finish to The Fugue in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (gr. I) June 18 at Ascot.

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race.

£567,100 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO Champions Series (Eng-I, 3:50 local time) 3yo&Up, 1 1/2 miles

No. PP. Horse (Where Foaled) (Sire), Jockey, Weight, Trainer

1. 9. Flintshire (GB) SCRATCHED
2. 3. Leitir Mor (IRE) (Holy Roman Emperor), R. Whelan, 133, J. Bolger
3. 4. Magician (IRE) (Galileo), J. O'Brien, 133, A. O'Brien
4. 1. Mukhadram (GB) (Shamardal), D. O'Neill, 133, W. Haggas  
5. 2. Telescope (IRE) (Galileo), R. Moore, 133, M. Stoute
6. 6. Trading Leather (IRE) (Teofilo), K. Manning, 133, J. Bolger
7. 8. Eagle Top (GB) (Pivotal), W. Buick, 121, J. Gosden
8. 5. Romsdal (GB) (Halling), R. Hughes, 121, J. Gosden
9. 7. Taghrooda (GB) (Sea The Stars), P. Hanagan, 118, J. Gosden

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