Investec Oaks
(In memory of Sir Henry Cecil)
Group 1, Epsom 16:00
£525,000 added,
3yo only,
1m 4f 10y, Class 1
Friday 6th June 2014

Get 5/1 on Australia to Win The Derby with Betfair

1 Taghrooda 5/1
2 Tarfasha 9/2
3 Volume 9/1
17 ran Distances: 3¾l, nse, nk
TIME 2m 34.89s (slow by 0.19s)

Taghrooda
© Racehorse Photos
Taghrooda

A first Classic for Paul Hanagan as Taghrooda lands the Investec Oaks by an impressive three and three-quarter lengths.

A first ever Oaks victory for John Gosden as Taghrooda completes the full set of Classics for the trainer.

Taghrooda is now rated 119p. That's the highest rating awarded to an Oaks winner since Sariska beat Midday in 2009.

Angus Gold, Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager: "We have had a few quiet years and it is nice to get back into the big time."

Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum was at Epsom today to watch his colours carried to first and second.

His home-bred filly Taghrooda - a daughter of brilliant Investec Derby winner Sea The Stars - scored readily by three and three-quarters of a length from Tarfasha, who was a nose ahead of Volume. The winner was a first Oaks success for trainer John Gosden, Dermot Weld trained the runner-up, while Volume represented Luca Cumani's stable.

Tarfasha
© Caroline Norris
Tarfasha

Gosden praised winning jockey Paul Hanagan, and said: "Paul rode her perfectly, although she got a bump that put her onto the wrong leg and meant she was leading on her off-fore coming down Tattenham Corner, which is where you don't want to be doing that.

"Cleverly, Paul got her back onto her near fore and she did it well. Two good fillies were second and third so it looks like a good Oaks. I always thought she was a nice filly, but I felt the extra two furlongs was right up her alley, which is why he had her handy. Richard [Hughes, on Volume] was in front trying to ride the race to suit himself and his filly won a trial in that way, so we knew if he was playing with the pace we wanted to be where we could do something about it and use our filly's class. Paul did just that and it was a very smooth performance.

"The ground has dried up, but it's Epsom Downs with the wind and sun on it. I hope we get a little rain in the night or we'll have a firm-ground Derby and that will suit Australia [he trains rival Western Hymn]."

Angus Gold, racing manager and bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Hamdan, said: "It doesn't get any better. We bought Taghrooda's dam, Ezima, as a filly out of training at the December Sales, while Stephen Collins [general manager at the Sheikh's Derrinstown Stud in Ireland] bought Tarfasha as a foal [€200,000 at Goffs] so full credit to him.

"I don't want to sound clever after the race, but Tagroohda is classy and it hasn't surprised me. I wasn't as worried about soft ground as everyone else, because Paul had ridden her on soft and said she handled it. If the two fillies come out of it in good order there is no reason why they can't both run in the Irish Oaks."

Investec Oaks (in Memory Of Sir Henry Cecil)
£525,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f 10y, Class 1
17 ran
Going: Good


Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
SP
Distance
1
Taghrooda
J H M Gosden
P Hanagan
9st 0lbs
5 - 1
Winner
2
Tarfasha
D K Weld
P J Smullen
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
3 3/4 lengths
3
Volume
L M Cumani
R Hughes
9st 0lbs
9 - 1
Nose
4
Inchila
P W Chapple-Hyam
J P Spencer
9st 0lbs
40 - 1
Neck
5
Ihtimal
S bin Suroor
K Fallon
9st 0lbs
8 - 1
1/2 length
6
Marvellous
A P O'Brien
J P O'Brien
9st 0lbs
4 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
7
Palace
A P O'Brien
R L Moore
9st 0lbs
16 - 1
Short Head
8
Momentus
D M Simcock
Harry Bentley
9st 0lbs
50 - 1
1 1/2 length
9
Lily Rules
T Coyle
Barry McHugh
9st 0lbs
33 - 1
3/4 length
10
Madame Chiang
D M Simcock
W Buick
9st 0lbs
9 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
11
Island Remede
E A L Dunlop
James Doyle
9st 0lbs
100 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
12
Regardez
R M Beckett
R Kingscote
9st 0lbs
40 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
13
Marsh Daisy
H Morrison
J Fortune
9st 0lbs
16 - 1
1/2 length
14
Dazzling
A P O'Brien
J A Heffernan
9st 0lbs
33 - 1
8 lengths
15
Anipa
R Varian
Andrea Atzeni
9st 0lbs
33 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
16
Honor Bound
R M Beckett
Jim Crowley
9st 0lbs
33 - 1
Head
17
Amazing Maria
E A L Dunlop
L Dettori
9st 0lbs
16 - 1
1 1/2 length
       

Paul Hanagan was quick to praise owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum and trainer John Gosden after Taghrooda ran out the impressive three and three quarter length winner.

The 5/1 shot is now unbeaten in three starts to date and her victory gave Hanagan his first Classic winner following his appointment as Sheikh Hamdan's retained jockey in 2012.

"This feels great - it's a brilliant feeling," said Hanagan.

"This is what I've worked hard for all my life. I'm so pleased for the team though - Sheikh Hamdan, John Gosden and Angus Gold (Sheikh Hamdan's bloodstock advisor). They have shown so much faith in me and this feels like I've given them something back.

"Of course, we've had bad news this week that John Hills died and he was also an important part of the team - this one's for him.

"The race went almost completely to plan. I've been going through the race in my head for the last month or so and it pretty much matched what happened today.

"There was one slight scare about five furlongs out when she got a bit of a bump and changed legs coming down the hill. I managed to get her back on the right leg though and she organised herself again pretty quickly.

"I'm not really surprised that she ran like that. I've always had plenty of faith in this filly as I ride her out in work most mornings and I knew she had quality. She's just a pleasure to ride."

Richard Hills, Sheikh Hamdan's former retained jockey and now his racing advisor, was clearly emotional after the race and fought back the tears as he spoke after the race.

Hills' brother John died of pancreatic cancer last Sunday and the former pilot felt his sibling was looking down on him following Taghrooda's victory.

"This is what we work for and John wished me good luck over the weekend with this horse," said Hills.

"He was definitely there with us today. I'm so pleased for the boss (Sheikh Hamdan) and everyone else - it's a big lift for the Hills family."

TARFASHA SECOND IN OWNER 1-2

The Dermot Weld-trained Tarfasha completed a one-two for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

"We're absolutely thrilled and the winner is obviously exceptional," said Weld's son Mark. "We're very happy with Tarfasha and we have a lot to look forward to with her. I think this could turn out to be a vintage renewal.

"We must thank Sheikh Hamdan for allowing us to run here because she is from a family that has done well at Epsom and she has added to the record. She could possibly go to the Irish Oaks, over the road from us, but we'll see what Sheikh Hamdan wants to do."

Volume
© Racehorse Photos
Volume

Luca Cumani, trainer of third-placed Volume, said: "It was a very good run and it's very satisfying to know she belongs to this company. The winner was very impressive and we were coming back again at the finish. We'll go to the Irish Oaks now. The Curragh will suit her as she's a big long-striding filly."

Peter Chapple-Hyam, who saddled Inchila to be fourth, said: "She maybe should have been second. She fell out of the stalls and it wasn't the plan to sit out the back. She loves fast ground and is a decent filly. I suppose she could go to the Curragh.

Ihtimal
© Racehorse Photos

Ihtimal
Ihtimal was shuffled back to race to sixth last before the Godolphin runner was switched out in the straight by Kieren Fallon to come with a good run and try and challenge in the final furlong, finishing fifth, beaten four and a half lengths.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "Ihtimal has run well. She was beaten by a better filly today.

"She tried hard. We will keep the options open for her but there is no plan at the moment.

"She is a very consistent and game filly. Hopefully tomorrow, we will have better luck (with True Story)."

Fallon added: "She stayed on well - she was pushed back coming up the hill and the course did not really suit her - she was very unbalanced down the centre of the track in the straight."

Jockey Jamie Spencer was left pondering Inchila's final placing after the filly finished fourth.

Spencer reported to the stewards that the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Inchila was denied a clear run, and given that she was beaten a nose and a neck by the second and third, his assertion that, "She would possibly have finished second with a clear run", was a reasonable comment.

The jockey said: "She ran very well and I was delighted with her. We were very close to the third at the line. The third horse [Volume] switched out off the rails and took my ground. She had no problem with the drying ground."

Spencer could be back in the winner's enclosure tomorrow when riding Arod, trained like Inchila by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in the Investec Derby.

The colt was second in York's Dante Stakes last time out, and the winner, The Grey Gatsby, subsequently won the Prix du Jockey-Club, but on his previous run, when winning at Leicester in April, Arod was lit up and pulled hard after receiving a bump early in the race..

Spencer said of Arod: "It's a different test tomorrow with 16 runners, and we have to get through the preliminaries, but if he does that without any problems we have an each-way chance. It was good to see the result in France."