Taghrooda shows a clean pair of heels in the Oaks

Dermot Weld’s Tarfasha comes home second in Epsom showpiece

Taghrooda gave jockey Paul Hanagan his first taste of Classic success with an impressive victory in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.

John Gosden’s filly was all the rage for the mile-and-a-half contest following a brilliant display in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket a month ago, but as doubts emerged about the form of that Listed event her price gradually eased and she was a 5-1 shot at the off.

Taghrooda travelled powerfully on the heels of the leaders before being sent on early in the straight and she powered clear to score by three and three-quarter lengths.

Tarfasha was second to give owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum a one-two, with Volume third.


As well as being a first Classic triumph for Hanagan on his first ride in the Oaks, and a first in the fillies’ showpiece for Gosden, it was also a maiden Group One winner as a sire for the brilliant 2009 Derby winner Sea The Stars.

Although a little keen coming down the hill, there were very few worries for supporters of the Gosden runner as she appeared in her comfort zone throughout and it was clear early in the straight she had far more to give than any of her opponents.

She streaked clear and was in a different class to the rest of the field, but it was a close-run thing for second.

Dermot Weld’s Tarfasha had been the subject of plenty of support and stuck on grimly to deny Volume the runner-up spot.

Outsider Inchila was right on their heels in fourth place, just ahead of Godolphin’s Ihtimal in fifth.

Weld’s son, Mark, said of the runner-up: “You always want to win, but we’re very, very happy with her and there’s lots to look forward to.

“Thanks to Sheikh Hamdan for letting us both run, and the winner won very well.

“It’s up to the owner, I’d guess the Irish Oaks just across the road (at the Curragh) is the logical next step and maybe the two of them can do battle again. I think that was a very good Oaks, a vintage one.”

Third across the line was Luca Cumani’s Volume, and the Italian said: “At least we know she belongs here now. She’s a big, long-striding filly who has won from the front before and we knew she stayed.

“I think it’ll be the Irish Oaks now and maybe the Curragh will suit her better.”

Joseph O’Brien blamed the race coming too soon after Marvellous’ win in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

The rider said: “I was flat out at the top of the hill. With six or seven to go I was struggling. She’d have had a hard enough race in the Irish Guineas, on testing enough ground at the Curragh. We’ll freshen her up now.”