Tapestry Upsets Taghrooda in Yorkshire Oaks
Winner of the Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) who decisively defeated males in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) last time out, 1-5 choice Taghrooda took charge a quarter mile out in the 1 1/2-mile test and briefly appeared set to go on to a fifth triumph.
Tapestry, however, was unwinding powerful strides when brought from the back of the field by Ryan Moore and took aim on the leader. Moving fastest of all through the stretch, she wore down Taghrooda with a steady rally and edged past in the closing stages for a half-length victory.
Via the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win & You're In" series, Tapestry earned an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) later this year at Santa Anita Park.
Covering the distance on good to firm turf in 2:28.59, Tapestry tallied her first group I win at 8-1 odds. Her record stands at 3-2-0 from seven career starts.
Tapestry had been competitive at the group I level previously, finishing second by a neck to stablemate Bracelet in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) last time out. Among the top juvenile fillies of 2013, she was second to Rizeena in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) after capturing the Debutante Stakes (Ire-II).
But she failed miserably in her 3-year-old debut when trailing home last of 17 in the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), beaten 30 lengths as the 4-1 favorite. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said afterward that he did not have her fit enough for the classic.
In the Yorkshire Oaks, Volume laid down an honest pace with last year's runner-up Venus de Milo, who is Tapestry's stablemate, tracking about 1 1/2 lengths back accompanied by Talent to her inside. Taghrooda settled in fifth along the outside, and Tapestry brought up the rear.
With the field bunching up in the straight, Taghrooda asserted herself for Paul Hanagan, drew even with the front-runners, and then seized control two furlongs out. Ready to roll with three-eighths to go, Tapestry eagerly pursued before collaring Taghrooda inside the final furlong. The two dueled stride for stride, but Tapestry had stamina in reserve and dug in to prevail in the thrilling finish.
Tasaday finished third, seven lengths back in the seven-horse field.
"Ryan has given her a peach today," O'Brien told England's Press Association about Tapestry, a regally bred daughter of Galileo. "She had group I class over seven furlongs as a 2-year-old, but she's a big filly and she's really been coming forwards with every run this season. She stays a mile and a half, but I think she probably wants fast ground and we were lucky that the rain didn't come any more than it did.
"We'll look at France, we'll look at America, but fast ground is going to be important for her. The world is open to her now."
Taghrooda's rider offered no excuses for the filly's defeat.
"She was just beaten by a very good horse," Hanagan said. "We went a nice enough gallop, I got there and I thought it would take a very good one to beat me, and I think one did."
Tapestry was bred in Ireland by Coolmore entity Orpendale and the Niarchos family, and is campaigned by Coomore and partners and the Niarchos family's Flaxman Stabes. She is one of four winners from as many starters out of the Danehill mare Rumplestiltskin, Europe's champion 2-year-old filly of 2005. This is the family of prominent U.S. sire Kingmambo and international star Miesque, a member of the Racing Hall of Fame.
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