sport

Tag team ready to wow York

View from connections ahead of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, the highlight of the second day of York's Ebor meeting.

Taghrooda could earn a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe if she can clinch a third Group One of a glorious summer in Thursday's Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

John Gosden's Sea The Stars filly put up a brilliant display in the Investec Oaks at Epsom in June and was all set to run in the Irish equivalent.

However, owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum had a late change of heart and made the bold call to pitch her in against the boys and her elders in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

It was a move which paid off as she kept intact her unbeaten record in scintillating fashion.

Taghrooda is, unsurprisingly, a warm order at York to take her career record to five wins from five starts, with her trainer already eyeing a trip to Paris in October.

Gosden said: "She took the King George very well.

"The Yorkshire Oaks was always the plan for her. After her win in the Oaks it was a race we had in our mind.

"There was a slight change of plan in the middle when we changed from Ireland to Ascot but she has handled it all very well.

"In terms of herself, I am very happy with her. It should be good racing ground and we are looking forward to it.

"If she runs a nice race at York we'll aim for the Arc and I think we would go straight there rather than taking in a race such as the (Prix) Vermeille, which would mean travelling to France twice in three weeks."

Even Gosden admits he was blown away by the ease of her victory in the King George.

The Clarehaven handler said: "I was surprised that she came to those good older horses under a hand ride.

"To come to horses that had just won a Hardwicke (Telescope) and an Eclipse (Mukhadram) in the manner that she did was what surprised me.

"I knew she was a nice filly but that was impressive."

Volume was a little under four lengths behind Taghrooda at Epsom and arguably performed even better when finishing a close third in the Irish Oaks, having attempted to make all of the running.

Trainer Luca Cumani said: "Volume has to take on Taghrooda again but she's a tough, consistent filly and she deserves to run in all the big mile-and-a-half fillies' races."

Godolphin's Tasaday won multiple Group races during her days with Andre Fabre in France and showed a liking for York when getting off the mark for Saeed bin Suroor in Britain in a Listed event last month.

Bin Suroor said: "She's doing good and won her last race well. She worked really well in her last piece of work and we are really happy with her.

"We will see what happens with the ground. Any rain that falls would suit her.

"It is a tough race, but she is in good form and has a chance."

Talent enjoyed a fantastic three-year-old campaign for Ralph Beckett, claiming Classic glory in the Investec Oaks as well as filling the runner-up spot in the St Leger.

However, she has not yet rediscovered that level of form this term and Beckett admits he is hopeful, rather than confident, heading into her latest assignment.

He said: "We're going there hoping for the best. I wouldn't say I was confident, but she looks great and is in good shape.

"She is capable (of getting involved). We'll just have to see what happens."

Richard Hannon admits his outsider Lustrous has her work cut out at this level.

The Marlborough handler told www.richardhannonracing.c o.uk: "She has a mountain to climb against Taghrooda, but if she could reproduce her Ribblesdale Stakes form from Royal Ascot she would not come back empty-handed."

The field is completed by the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair of Venus De Milo and Tapestry.

Venus De Milo found only The Fugue too strong in last year's renewal and is fitted with a hood for the first time in the hands of the trainer's son, Joseph.

Tapestry, the mount of Ryan Moore, was last seen finishing a close second behind stable companion Bracelet in the Irish Oaks.