• Racing/
  • Taghrooda Heads Hamdan Pair

Investec Oaks (In Memory Of Sir Henry Cecil) (Fillies' Group 1) 1m 4f 10y

  • (3yo, 1m 4f 10y, Class 1, 17 runners)
  • Winner £297,728 2nd £112,875 3rd £56,490 4th £28,140 5th £14,122 6th £7,087
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 2m 34.89s
  • Off time: 16:05:37
Full result
Result 16:00 Epsom Downs
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 15 Taghrooda 5/1
2nd 16 Tarfasha 9/2
3rd 17 Volume nse 9/1
  • Last Updated: June 5 2014, 15:19 BST

A total of 17 fillies are set to head to post for the 2014 renewal of the Investec Oaks.

Taghrooda: Aims to provide a first Oaks success for John Gosden
Taghrooda: Aims to provide a first Oaks success for John Gosden

It is nearly five years since Awzaan gave owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum his last Group One win in Britain but he has two major chances in tomorrow's Investec Oaks, with Taghrooda and Tarfasha both carrying his familiar blue and while silks at Epsom.

The John Gosden-trained Taghrooda shot to the head of the betting for the Classic after a thoroughly dominant display in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on just her second start.

Unfortunately for the daughter of Sea The Stars that form has been repeatedly let down, but she could hardly have won any easier.

Over in Ireland Dermot Weld's Tarfasha claimed the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas, a race in which 2012 winner Was met with defeat before springing a Classic surprise, but the team are praying the weather forecast is correct and the rain that is forecast hits Epsom after the race.

The owner's racing manager Angus Gold said: "We hope the forecast is correct for Tarfasha, she needs good ground but is going the right way.

"She's a nice staying filly in the making.

"As for Taghrooda, everyone has crabbed the form and of course you'd love to see it work out but it doesn't mean she's not progressive. Sometimes the style (of victory) is more important.

"Whether she is good enough we will see, but she's potentially a very nice mile-and-a-half filly."

Weld said of Tarfasha: "She's a lovely filly, she's very balanced with a good action. Hopefully she can make it all the way to the top in time.

"I don't think stamina will be a problem, or the track. She won easy in Galway as a two-year-old, she handled the hill and came round the bend well. She's progressive."

Gosden has never won the Oaks, but Taghrooda looks to present him with his best chance of doing so to date.

"She is a very nice filly. People are quite correct to question the form (of her six-length win in the Pretty Polly). I think the second (Jordan Princess) is a decent filly but she didn't handle the testing ground next time at Goodwood and the third filly is pretty moody and did not run great in a Newbury trial.

"You win by six lengths and it is not your fault if the others do not go on.

"I feel the step up in trip will help her. However, I think the Oaks is a race with great depth, whereas Australia showed form way ahead of anything else in the Guineas for the Derby.

"Taghrooda's form ties in very nicely with the filly (Marsh Daisy) who won the Height of Fashion Stakes (at Goodwood). I think it's a strong race this year because we've had such a mild spring and a lot of fillies have come to hand earlier than normal."

Kieren Fallon replaces Silvestre de Sousa on the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Ihtimal, who was a fine third behind Miss France in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Bin Suroor said: "She won the Oaks and and UAE Guineas in Dubai, she's tough. Since she came back to England she's done really well physically and improved. She was third in the Guineas, she's been working really well, she's ready to go now and I'm happy with her.

"She has a big engine and is easy to train. Every morning she shows her class the way she works. She makes it easy for the jockey as she never pulls or fights, she relaxes so she can be put in any position in the race. "I think Epsom will be fine for her and we're looking for a good run."

Ed Dunlop has had a low-key start to the season with several horses under the weather but he has been happy with Amazing Maria, who showed plenty of promise last season.

Dunlop excels with fillies, so the fact she is making her seasonal debut at this level need not be a negative and she may outrun her odds. "She is a pretty good filly and it is a question of whether she stays a mile and a half. I think she is classy enough to win the Oaks, she will handle the track I hope and will like the ground if it is soft," he said.

"The doubt is the trip. I am pretty confident she will get a mile and a quarter, whether she will get a mile and a half, I don't know.

"The health of the horses is the main thing - we have been lost in the jungle. We don't know what it was and there were no outward signs of it.

"They were not coughing, did not have dirty noses and their blood profiles were normal, but they scoped dirty. We backed off with the horses and treated them. Patience has been the key as they are now well again."