08/17/2010 2:05PM

Midday takes another shot at Sariska at York


Sariska and Midday renew their one-sided rivalry at York on Thursday in the Group 1, $485,000 Yorkshire Oaks, in which they will be joined by English and Irish Oaks winner Snow Fairy.

The winner herself of last year’s English and Irish Oaks, Sariska has beaten Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Midday in all three of their meetings, most recently by 1 3/4 lengths when taking a high-class renewal of the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York on May 13. A Michael Bell-trained Pivotal filly, Sariska has since finished a bang-up second to Fame and Glory in the Coronation Cup at the Yorkshire Oaks distance of 1 1/2 miles. Second to Dar Re Mi in last year’s Yorkshire Oaks, Sariska will be ridden by Jamie Spencer.

Midday produced a career best effort to defeat Stacelita last time at Goodwood in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 1 Nassau Stakes, but she is 0 for 2 at the Oaks distance, having finished a head second in last year’s English Oaks and 7 1/2 lengths third in the Irish equivalent, both times to Sariska. Tom Queally will ride Midday, who is owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Henry Cecil, but there is nothing in the form to suggest that she can get the best of Sariska on Thursday.

Snow Fairy followed her game neck victory in the English Oaks with an eight-length romp in the Irish Oaks last time on July 18. This will be the Snow Fairy’s first try against older females but she couldn’t have been better prepared by trainer Ed Dunlop. Richard Hughes will ride her for the first time in place of the injured Ryan Moore.

◗ Maqaasid, the winner of Royal Ascot’s Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, rates a favorite’s chance in the Group 2, $156,000 Lowther Stakes at six furlongs for juvenile fillies. A John Gosden-trained daughter of Green Desert, Maqaasid will be challenged by Margot Did, a two-time runner-up in Group 3 company at Ascot, and Rimth, the 3 1/2-length winner of a Windsor maiden in her debut.