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Top News in Saturday's TDN
Oaks Glory For Sea the Stars' Taghrooda
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5th at EPSG1 Investec Oaks (in memory of Sir Henry Cecil)  [12f 10y (T)]Winner: Taghrooda (GB), f, 3 by Sea the Stars (Ire)
THE TAG TEAM
   The G1 Investec Oaks, which was run in memory of Sir Henry Cecil, proved a watershed moment in the careers of John Gosden, Paul Hanagan and also Sea the Stars (Ire) as Shadwell’s Taghrooda (GB) dominated proceedings to lead home a one-two for the Stud and provide her trainer with a first renewal and her jockey and sire with a first Classic of any kind. All the rage in the ante-post market following her emphatic six-length success in Newmarket’s Listed Pretty Polly S., the homebred was eventually let go at a generous 5-1 with the operation’s other contender Tarfasha (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) more favored at 9-2. Always traveling with zest behind the leading quartet, the bay tanked down to Tattenham Corner and after being allowed to stride to the front approaching the quarter pole opened up to comprehensively to best that rival by 3 3/4 lengths. “It feels great--I’m delighted for the team and it’s what I’ve worked hard for,” commented her rider, who was employed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2012 before reflecting on the recent loss of one of the sport’s most popular men. “We had really bad news recently with the death of John Hills, who was a big part of the team, and I’d just like to say this one is for him.” John Hills’ brother Richard Hills has played a key part in Taghrooda’s progress and was understandably emotional afterwards. “He wished me luck last week,” the Shadwell stalwart said of his Late sibling. “He was there with us. This is a big lift for the Hills family and is what we get up at five in the morning for. The filly had been working so well and had done everything right.”

Friday, Epsom, Britain
INVESTEC OAKS (IN MEMORY OF SIR HENRY CECIL)-G1, £525,000, EPM, 6-6, 3yo, f, 12f 10yT, 2:34.89, gd.
1--@sTAGHROODA (GB), 126, f, 3, by Sea the Stars (Ire)
     1st Dam: Ezima (Ire) (MSW-Ire & GSP-Eng, $278,008), by Sadler’s Wells
     2nd Dam: Ezilla (Ire), by Darshaan (GB)
     3rd Dam: Ezana (Ire), by Ela-Mana-Mou (Ire)
O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. B-Shadwell Estate Company Ltd (GB). T-John Gosden. J-Paul Hanagan. £297,727. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, £324,940. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree
2--Tarfasha (Ire), 126, f, 3, Teofilo (Ire)--Grecian Bride (Ire), by Groom Dancer. (€200,000 wlng ‘12 GOFNOV). O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. B-Rockfield Farm (IRE). T-Dermot Weld. £112,875.
3--Volume (GB), 126, f, 3, Mount Nelson (GB)--Victoire Finale (GB), by Peintre Celebre. O/B-Stuart Stuckey (GB). T-Luca Cumani. J-Richard Hughes. £56,490.
Margins: 3 3/4, NO, NK. Odds: 5.00, 4.50, 9.00.
Also Ran: Inchila (GB), Ihtimal (Ire), Marvellous (Ire), Palace (Ire), Momentus (Ire), Lily Rules (Ire), Madame Chiang (GB), Island Remede (GB), Regardez (GB), Marsh Daisy (GB), Dazzling (Ire), Anipa (GB), Honor Bound (GB), Amazing Maria (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the brisnet.com PPs. VIDEO, courtesy Racing UK.
   This renewal, which paid homage to the unequaled brilliance of Sir Henry Cecil, whose “green fingers with horses” had seen him cultivate eight winners down the years, was primed for a special performance with several in the line-up seemingly capable of it. Taghrooda arrived on the Downs with connections eschewing the kind of quiet confidence that the much-missed maestro of Warren Place was famed for after being fast-tracked via two educative winning outings on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile. The first, at 20-1 in September, ironically came at the expense of the daughter of a past Oaks winner in Casual Look (Red Ransom), but the vanquished on that occasion Casual Smile (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) is still a maiden and those that followed her home in the Pretty Polly have since let down the form. Despite the hollow look to that aspect of her profile, the style and manner of her latest performance and her physical and mental progress and prowess suggested that this contest could serve as a catalyst for her to fully explode. Breaking well and placed towards the fore by Paul Hanagan on the dash to the first turn, she was able to take a perfect lead from four fillies as Richard Hughes took Volume (GB) (Mount Nelson {GB}) to the head of affairs with the field switched across to the left running rail. Set alight as Jimmy Fortune looked for a way out on Marsh Daisy (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) to her inner at the top of Tattenham Hill, she was keen dropping down the descent as a result much as her sire had in the Derby five years ago. Visually traveling much the best in early stretch with a harder-working Tarfasha on her rail, the bay strode to Volume with a head of steam and after being cut loose with just over a quarter mile to race soon extended her advantage. If there was a hard-luck story in behind, it was Inchila (GB) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) who was denied a clear run and would probably have been a clear second had Jamie Spencer not been stopped at a crucial point. “Two years ago we should have won with the best filly [The Fugue], but she got almost knocked over so it was one owing to the stable--to that extent it was a great relief,” John Gosden said. “He rode her quite beautifully and was always in a great position as Richard Hughes was in front playing with the pace a bit. He was able to go and assert and show her class and stamina. It’s great to win any Classic and it’s wonderful for the owner to win with a homebred, beating the one he bought. That’s the right way round.” Sheikh Hamdan said of the landmark occasion, “As an owner, the Oaks and the Guineas are the top races to win. She was the most beautiful yearling and last year I kept asking John when she was going to see the racecourse. He said wait and when she won, she only won by a head which to me is not enough but this year she is more mature. I was always satisfied with Paul [Hanagan] from the beginning and he rode her very well today, getting her cover when she pulled early on.” Sunday’s G1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Marvellous (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who was sent off the 4-1 favorite after prevailing in a tussle with the Shadwell pair in the betting beforehand, never looked like matching that feat on the track and ended up sixth.

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