Yorkshire Oaks for Taghrooda
Taghrooda is due to make her next racecourse appearance in the Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York’s Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival on Thursday August 21.
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Unbeaten in four starts to date, the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned filly has been one of the stars of the 2014 Flat season with victories in the Investec Oaks at Epsom and against colts and her elders in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month.
Taghrooda, trained in Newmarket by John Gosden, became the first filly from the Classic generation to win the Ascot summer showpiece since Pawneese in 1976.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe remains her end of season target but connections are keen to take in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks en-route.
Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, said: “Taghrooda has been great since Ascot and the plan is to head to the Yorkshire Oaks.”
“She has only had four career starts so it makes sense to keep her going and this race looks ideal.
“I was very impressed with her performance at Ascot. She has done everything we have asked of her.”
The Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks offers record prize money of £330,000 making it the richest all aged fillies and mares contest in the country, outside of British Champions Day.
The richest-race ever staged at York is the £800,000 Juddmonte International Stakes, the Group One feature of the opening day of the Ebor Festival on Wednesday, and set to feature Coral-Eclipse winner Mukhadram.
A winner of the Sky Bet York Stakes in 2013, the colt was last seen putting in a strong performance to finish third behind Taghrooda in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.
Hills said of the William Haggas-trained five-year-old: “His run at Ascot was fantastic. He justified his place in the field and we were delighted with him.”
“Whether he really stayed the mile and a half I don’t know, but he proved again what a brave horse he is.”
“He came out of Ascot well and the Juddmonte International is the plan. I think he goes there as the one they all have to beat.”
The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival takes place from Wednesday August 20 to Saturday August 23 inclusively.