Gosden may aim The Fugue at the Arc after brilliant display

The Fugue ridden by William Buick wins yesterday’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

The Fugue ridden by William Buick wins yesterday’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire


Trips to Paris and California are on the agenda for The Fugue after she bounced back to her brilliant best in yesterday’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

Beaten just a neck by Shareta in monsoon-like conditions a year ago, John Gosden’s four-year-old made a most encouraging seasonal return when third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She blotted her copybook for the first time when finishing last of seven runners in Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse, but with a dirty scope a viable excuse, she was a 2/1 favourite to get back on the winning trail on the Knavesmire.

With Scintillula having set a fierce pace, William Buick appeared keen to play his cards late on the market-leader, but she ranged up menacingly in the straight.

Smart three-year-old Venus De Milo did her best to fend off her older rival, but was simply not in the same league as The Fugue breezed clear in the sunshine for an emphatic four-length verdict.

Gosden said: “Due to the way the weather was in the spring it took her a long time to come to herself this year, but we were very happy with her run at Royal Ascot.

“I thought she would trouble the colts in the Eclipse and I was devastated afterwards. She was very ill for 10 days.”

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is now firmly in Gosden’s sights, as is a trip to the Breeders’ Cup.

The Fugue finished a luckless third at Santa Anita in last November’s Filly and Mare Turf over the turning mile and a quarter, and this year could take on the boys over a mile and half in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

‘Strong possibility’
Gosden said: “The Vermeille (Longchamp, September 15th) would come into consideration for her next run and after that there is the Arc and I do think she is that level.

“If the ground is good or faster, or even good to soft, that would be a strong possibility, but she hates bottomless ground. She went to the Breeders’ Cup last year and didn’t have much luck, but we’d be keen to go back.

“There is the Filly and Mare, but the mile-and-a-half race (Breeders’ Cup Turf) could be more suitable for her.”

Lucky Kristale further enhanced her growing reputation by giving weight and a beating to some talented fillies in the Connolly’s Red Mills Lowther Stakes.

A surprise winner of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket, George Margarson’s stable star was a 5/2 joint-favourite and showed thrilling acceleration under Tom Queally to beat Queen Catrine by a length and a half. Margarson said: “We’ll go straight to the Cheveley Park (Newmarket, September 28th) with her and worry about next year after that.

“Tom is confident seven furlongs and a mile won’t be a problem for her, but she’s got so much speed we might as well stick at six furlongs in the Cheveley Park and go from there.”

Yorkshire-born trainer William Haggas enjoyed a double on the day, with Our Obsession’s (3/1 favourite) victory under Frankie Dettori in the Listed ‘Breeders Backing Racing’ EBF Galtres Stakes the highlight.

Haggas said: ”We’ve got her in the Blandford (Curragh, September 14th). We could also go for the Prix Vermeille but a Group One would be tough.

”There’s the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend, a Group Two, and I quite fancy that, although the French races can be silly. The intention is to keep her next year.”

The Newmarket handler also claimed the lucrative DBS Premier Yearling Stakes with Liam Jones-ridden 9/1 shot Haikbidiac.

Local trainer David O’Meara also struck a brace, with Mont Ras (25/1) claiming the Clipper Logistic Stakes and 8/1 shot Dutch Rose coming up trumps in the EBF Fillies’ Stakes.