Unbeaten Taghrooda Heads Yorkshire Oaks

Unbeaten Taghrooda Heads Yorkshire Oaks
Photo: Trevor Jones
Taghrooda is perfect in four career starts.
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Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) winner Taghrooda looms large as the unbeaten favorite for the Aug. 22 Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) at the prestigious Ebor-at-York Festival meeting.
 
Sheikh Hamdan's daughter of Sea The Stars, perfect in four career starts for John Gosden, set a high mark for fillies in Europe this year upon becoming the first 3-year-old filly in nearly four decades to capture the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I), where she brilliantly defeated some of the top males in training.
 
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has two shots for the 1 1/2-mile race with last year's runner-up Venus de Milo and Tapestry, both campaigned by Coolmore and partners and each in search of breakthroughs at the highest level. 
 
Venus De Milo second to The Fugue 12 months ago enters off a third-place in the Aug. 2 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Glorious Goodwood. Runner-up in last year's Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I), the 4-year-old has a 4-3-1 record from 10 career starts.
 
In her most recent start, Tapestry was a creditable second, beaten a neck by stablemate Bracelet in the Irish Oaks. She has a 2-2-0 record from six outings, including a runner-up finish last year in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh.
 
"Both of them seem to be in good form since their last run," O'Brien said. "We are hoping that they run well."
 
Trainer Ralph Beckett has Talent ready to halt a six-race winless stretch following her 3 3/4-length triumph in last year's Epsom Oaks. She has been competitive in the interim, finishing second in the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I) against males last September, third in the QIPCO British Champion Fillies & Mares (Eng-I) in October, and third in the Lancashire Oaks (Eng-II) last month at Haydock. 
 
Godolphin's French classic-placed group winner Tasaday has won half her four starts this season, both stakes, including the July 25 Lyric Stakes at York.  
 
Rounding out the field are Lustrous, who stretches out for trainer Richard Hannon after winning a one-mile stakes in May at York; and trainer Luca Cumani's stakes winner Volume, who was third behind Bracelet and Tapestry in the this year's Irish Oaks.
 
Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I, race 4, approximate post time 10:40 a.m. EDT), Aug. 22, 3YO&Up, fillies and mares, 1 1/2 miles, York
No. PP. Horse (Where Bred) (Sire), Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. 1. Talent (GB) (New Approach), A. Atzeni, 133, R. Beckett
2. 4. Tasaday (KY) (Nayef) S. De Sousa, 133, S. bin Suroor
3.     3.     Venus de Milo (IRE) (Duke of Marmalade), J. O'Brien, 133, A. O'Brien  
4.     2.     Lustrous (GB)(Champs Elysees), P. Dobbs, 123, Richard Hannon
5. 7. Taghrooda (GB) (Sea The Stars), P, Hanagan, 123, J. Gosden
6. 6. Tapestry (IRE) (Galileo) R. Moore, 123, A. O'Brien
7. 5. Volume (GB) (Mount Nelson), R. Hughes, 123, L. Cumani

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