Give And Take gets by Dancing Brave Bear to win the Musidora at York

Give And Take gets by Dancing Brave Bear to win the Musidora at York

Steve Davies/Racingfotos.com

Give And Take Gets Up Late to Score in Musidora

Victory was the first group win for the daughter of Cityscape.

Nicholas Jones' Give And Take outdueled Dancing Brave Bear late to land the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (G3) at York May 16. The race is a key trial for the June 1 Investec Oaks (G1).

Held for much of the race by jockey James Doyle, Give And Take produced a challenge in the straight and stayed on well to subdue her main rival by one length. It was 1 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Ejtyah.

The Musidora was the first group level win for Give And Take, who opened her 3-year-old campaign with a second-place finish in a 1 1/4-mile conditions race at Sandown last month.

Bred by her owner's Coln Valley Stud, the winner is by Cityscape out of Grace And Glory, an unraced half sister to multiple group 1 winner Fame And Glory. Final time for the 10 1/2-furlong distance was 2:12.04 on a good to firm track.

Six winners have gone on to win at Epsom in the Oaks—most recently Sariska in 2009—but trainer William Haggas was unsure if that would be the plan. 

"I think we need to think about it," Haggas said. "I'm not convinced, and I never have been convinced, that a mile and a half is her go. Nicholas assures me it's a good staying family, and the one thing she will do is stay, but she has always showed me speed at home—so I'm not convinced. I have her in the Prix Saint-Alary (at ParisLongchamp) next weekend. That's a group 1 over a mile and a quarter. I know it's quite soon, but I'm going to look at that."

Previously undefeated Dancing Brave Bear enhanced her reputation in her first turf start with the runner-up finish. The winner of a pair of minor polytrack contests has a notable pedigree. Dancing Brave Bear is by Street Cry out of the graded stakes winner Baghdaria—a half sister to Preakness Stakes (G1), Metropolitan Handicap (G1), and Clark Handicap (G1) winner Shackleford  and Alabama Stakes (G1) winner Lady Joanne.

"Dancing Brave Bear has done so little since she ran. She just didn't do well and come forward from it, and it's only in the last couple of weeks she's started to thrive," said trainer Ed Vaughan. "She'd only done a couple of bits of work. She looked a bit green, and the jockey said she could have done with a lead for a bit longer.

"She's in the Ribblesdale (at Royal Ascot), and I'd have thought that was the race for her. That's where we'll go next. She's an exciting filly. She's going to continue to improve, and the second half of the year is when we'll see her at her best over a mile and a half."

Highgarden was sent off as the favorite to give trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori a fourth consecutive Musidora—despite finishing one place behind Give And Take at Sandown in her last start. But after leading for much of the contest, she was outpaced in the straight and could finish only fourth.