Taghrooda Unstoppable At Yorkshire Oaks
Thursday’s Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks (3.40) is shaping up to be an absolute cracking renewal, and one in which John Gosden’s unbeaten filly, Taghrooda, will be seeking a third Group 1 victory this summer.
Having won the Epsom Oaks in June (1m4f, good) she then went on to beat the males in the King George at Ascot last month (1m4f, good) – a performance that marked her down as one of the best middle-distance fillies in recent times.
While Taghrooda received almost a stone in weight at Ascot, the manner in which she quickened to settle matters was highly impressive, hence why she has been priced up at 2/7 to beat her own sex on Thursday.
Fancied runners have also emerged best in the Yorkshire Oaks during the last decade, and it will be a major upset if Taghrooda doesn’t provide John Gosden with his third winner of the race during that period.
Aidan O’Brien has also bagged a brace in this since 2004, and will be hoping Tapestry (10/1), can build upon her excellent second in the Irish Oaks, when finishing strongly to be beaten just 1/4l by Bracelet; Volume was a further 1/4l back in third.
That performance at the Curragh was also Tapestry’s first outing over 1m4f, and there is every reason to think there may be more to come, although the concern is the strength of that Irish Oaks form, as the fourth has already lost twice.
While the Classic generation look to hold all the aces in this year’s renewal, it’s worth noting that 4yo’s actually returned a better strike-rate over the last 10 years at 23% (3yo’s were 11%), which offers encouragement to backers of Godolphin’s 4yo, Tasaday (12/1).
Placed twice in a couple of Group 1’s last season (1m2f-1m4f), Tasaday returned from a winter spell in Dubai to win a Listed race here at York last month (1m2f, good to firm). The chances are, however, are that she may come up short at this level.
Another 4yo favoured by the stats is Ballydoyle’s other runner, Venus De Milo (12/1), who will handle these conditions and was a Group 3 winner over 1m4f in June (good to firm). She has been held in four Group 1’s, though, including when twice runner-up, and she will need to step up in a first-time hood is finding that extra improvement required.
Also at a double-figure price is Luca Cumani’s 3yo, Volume, who has almost 4l to find with Taghrooda from the Epsom Oaks, but her Irish Oaks third suggests she won’t be faraway.
Of the last 10 Yorkshire Oaks winners…
10 returned 8/1 or shorter – 8 were 4/1 or less (8-17, 47%)
8 were beaten 3l or less last time
7 won a Group 1 (7-15, 47%) – others were 3-58, 5%
7 had three or more Group 1 outings (7-18, 39%)
4yo’s did best at 5-22 (23%) – 3yo’s were 5-46 (11%)
John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien won two apiece
While 4yo’s boast the better strike-rate, it’s hard to see Taghrooda getting beat, especially as she is the only proven Group 1 winner in the field.
Tapestry could make the forecast.