sport

Taghrooda heads Oaks hopefuls

John Gosden's Taghrooda is the star name among the 24 going forward in the Investec Oaks (In Memory of Sir Henry Cecil) on June 6.

The daughter of Sea The Stars won her maiden last season and looked destined for a big future when running away with the Pretty Polly Stakes on her return.

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.