05/13/2002 11:00PM

Islington sharp in Musidora win

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Islington's professional victory in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York on Tuesday was enough to propel her into favoritism for the English Oaks on June 7.

A Sadler's Wells filly and half-sister to Group 1 winner and multiple Group 1 placed Greek Dance, Islington was put on the lead by Kieren Fallon three furlongs from the line in the 1 1/4-mile, 85-yard contest, after which she was ridden out to defeat Spinette by a length. The winning time on good to firm ground was 2:09.11.

Winless in two starts but third in a listed race at two, Islington took a 1 1/4-mile maiden at Newbury on April 19. Her trainer, Michael Stoute was pleased with the improvement shown by the filly but cautioned that Godolphin's 1000 Guineas winner, Kazzia, might prove difficult to beat in the Oaks, a race Stoute trainer has won twice before, with Fair Salinia in 1978 and Unite in 1987.