Punctilious is Breeders' Cup Bound After Yorkshire Oaks Win

Punctilious is being considered for the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) after giving Godolphin its second group I victory in four days in the Aston Upthorpe Yorkshire Oaks at York, England Wednesday.

The daughter of Danehill, sent off a 13-2 shot, wore down the runner-up Dash To The Top (8-1) in the final half furlong to grab the first group I prize of her career. The race had one false start before the Irish-trained Right Key was left behind at the re-start.

The German Oaks winner Iota led the field into the straight, establishing a clear lead after being guided over to the stands' side rails. Dash To The Top looked the likely winner until Kerrin McEvoy, who partnered Dubawi to win Sunday's Prix Jacques le Marois (Fr-I), summoned a winning run from Punctilious in the center of the course.

French filly Lune d'Or (9-1), like the winner a 4-year-old, took third, with Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) winner Eswarah suffering a second successive defeat since her classic win in fourth.

"This filly is thoroughly honest and fully deserved this win," said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford of Punctilious, while admitting that she had disappointed her connections in her previous two starts this season.

Confirming the Breeders' Cup as a target, Crisford said: "You have got to be ambitious when you have a filly like this, there is no point going in group II's any more."

However, McEvoy sounded cautious about the American option, saying: "She is a little bit sluggish at the stalls and as you know they go off so quickly in America. I guess you have got to give these things a shot and Sheikh Mohammed has never been shy of giving it a shot.

"She was one of the top 3-year-olds last year and we've got her back now. She's even better than last year and she's going great guns."

Earlier on the card, the impressive juvenile George Washington -- a very easy group I winner recently for Aidan O'Brien -- received a form boost via Red Clubs' narrow second in the Scottish Equitable Gimcrack Stakes (Eng-II), won by Amadeus Wolf.

A 2-year-old son of Mozart, Amadeus Wolf raced six furlongs over good turf in 1:09.75.

Red Clubs, who was third to George Washington in the Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) on Aug. 7, was carrying a 5lb penalty in the Gimcrack.