sport

Tag stakes Oaks claim

John Gosden now trains the Investec Oaks favourite after the display of Taghrooda in the Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.

Connections were surprised when the daughter of Sea The Stars showed enough pace to win over seven furlongs on her debut last season and there was real anticipation about her reappearance over a mile and a quarter.

Sent off the even-money favourite, Paul Hanagan oozed confidence and when he sent the imposing filly about her business it was easy to see why. She stretched six lengths clear of Jordan Princess and will surely take a world of beating at Epsom.

Ouija Board won the corresponding race before taking the Classic in 2004.

Gosden said: "The ground had dried up, which was a concern, but she has done it well and she wants a mile and a half now.

"The trials come too quick at York (Musidora) and Newbury (Swetenham Stud), and the Goodwood one (Height Of Fashion Stakes) is too late.

"We can always take her to Epsom and have a look around as they have an open day and her father got round there no problem."

Hanagan also won the Qatar Racing Handicap on William Haggas' Zee Zeely (8-1) to complete a fine day.

Haggas said: "I don't know what happened at Pontefract last time, he ran no race at all.

"The cheekpieces definitely helped him today. I'd say he's just a handicapper."

Andre Fabre claimed the 1000 Guineas with Miss France and had earlier struck with Esoterique in the Qatar Bloodstock Dahlia Stakes.

Esoterique could be backed at 11-2 in the morning yet was a 9-4 chance when the gates opened.

Maxime Guyon challenged down the inside of the pack while Integral, aiming to give Sir Michael Stoute yet another win in this Group Three, made her move on the opposite side of the track.

Ryan Moore looked as if he thought he was getting on top on Integral but Esoterique stuck her neck out and won by a head.

Fabre said: "She's a nice filly, really athletic - she has a lovely temperament and deserved to win a nice race like that.

"Maxime thought she'd win easy but she was up against a tough opponent in Ryan Moore.

"Her next race will be the Prix D'Ispahan at the end of June in Longchamp, after that Deauville for the Prix D'Astarte."

Mighty Yar (5-1 co-favourite) regained the winning thread when coming with a late rattle in the Qipco Supporting British Racing Stakes.

Lady Cecil's giant grey won his first two starts but was found wanting in Listed company on his reappearance at Nottingham.

He looked a deal better than a handicapper as Moore gathered him for a late challenge, winning going away by half a length.

Mighty Yar holds an entry in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Lady Cecil said: "He's a giant of a horse and he should only be coming into his own this year.

"The Ebor could be a possibility but we'll just see, he ran over a mile-six at Nottingham and it seemed too far."

Sprint king Robert Cowell worked his magic again with Goldream who sprang a 25-1 surprise in the Havana Gold At Tweenhills Handicap.

Cowell said: "It was a bit of a surprise, I thought he had a big race in him but perhaps not today.

"He's a horse I've got a lot of time for. He'll go to York next and he could be a Wokingham horse, we'll see.

"He's effective over five and six and is one to keep on the right side of."

Kieren Fallon's good weekend continued as the veteran jockey guided Elite Gardens (8-1) to victory in the Makfi Future Stars Maiden Stakes.

Having won the Guineas on Night Of Thunder 24 hours earlier, Fallon appears to be enjoying yet another new dawn in his colourful career.

Winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "She ran a huge race and will come on for that. She'll run in a Listed race at Sandown on 29th and then Royal Ascot.

"I think she's a filly for the Albany at Royal Ascot.

"Kieren is one of the best jockeys, he's won every Classic, I'm happy to give him a chance in all the big races.

"He rode True Story today on the gallops and he gave me good information, he's going to ride him in the Dante."