sport

Taghrooda could have Epsom spin

Red-hot Investec Oaks favourite Taghrooda could have an initial taste of Epsom at the 'Breakfast with the Stars' morning next week.

John Gosden's filly, who had a routine exercise in Newmarket on Wednesday morning, has been all the rage for the Classic since strolling to victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Headquarters on her seasonal return.

Gosden, who may also take his Derby candidate Western Hymn to the pre-Classic event on the Downs, is delighted with the progress the Sea The Stars filly has made since her outing and expressed his happiness at her well-being.

"She's in good order, she had a breeze this morning and I couldn't be happier with her, she's in good form," said Gosden on At The Races.

"She might visit Epsom next week, she's only had the one run this year so she might go on Thursday but I'm very happy with her.

"Her coat is coming all the time, she's a strong filly and hasn't lost any weight at all - if anything she's putting it on again."

Taghrooda was the star name among the 24 going forward in a race what will be run in the memory of Sir Henry Cecil on June 6.

Her owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum also has a possible powerful second-string to his bow in the Dermot Weld-trained Tarfasha, winner of the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.

A couple of fillies who ran well in the Qipco 1000 Guineas are still in the mix, with Olly Stevens' Lightning Thunder, a possible for the Irish Guineas this weekend, and Godolphin's Ihtimal having been left in.

David Simcock's Madame Chiang was impressive in winning the Musidora at York, a key trial for the Oaks, but needs suitably soft ground to take her chance.

The Charlie Hills-trained Cambridge was sent off favourite for that race and while she disappointed, owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "We have found nothing untoward after Cambridge's run at York.

"It was a bit disappointing, there is no question about that, as we had hoped and expected better.

"Whatever the ground was, she should have run better. I would say the Investec Oaks would be a tough ask, but we still wanted to give her that option."

Aidan O'Brien has left six in but surprisingly the shortest-priced of those, Palace, is as big as 16/1. Wonderfully, Bracelet and Tapestry are still engaged for Ballydoyle.

Others to stand their ground are Ed Dunlop's Amazing Maria, a late absentee form the 1000 Guineas, and Alain de Royer-Dupre's Shamkala, although she is expected to run in the Prix de Diane instead.