07/11/2009 11:00PM

Sariska doubles up in Irish Oaks


It was a stroll in the park for Sariska at the Curragh on Sunday as the English Oaks winner doubled her classic pleasure with the easiest of victories in the $701,000 Irish Oaks. In a performance that recalled that of Montjeu in the 2000 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and that of Millkom in the 1995 Man o' War Stakes, Sariska cruised to a three-length victory over longshot Roses for the Lady. Midday, a head runner-up in the English Oaks, was a well beaten third, 7 1/2 lengths behind the impressive winner.

Jamie Spencer was content to let the even-money Sariska dawdle along near the back of the 10-runner field as Roses for the Lady slogged her way through the heavy ground on the front end, serving as the pacesetter for her John Oxx-trained stablemate Beauty O'Gwaun, who was some eight lengths behind in third, just in front of the 9-2 Midday. Beauty O'Gwaun called it quits more than a half-mile from home as Midday loomed large, but for a moment it seemed as if the 25-1 rabbit might hold on. Sariska, however, was under a double hold as she made up gound by the stride midway through the stretch. The Pivotal filly calmly galloped to the lead at the sixteenth pole, her imperious triumph punctuated by Spencer's look over his shoulder at Fran Berry, who had no answer aboard the maiden Roses for the Lady.

The winning time for the 1 1/2 miles was an inconquesential 2:45.84. This race was all about the class of Sariska, who has now won three straight, the 1 5/16-mile, Group 3 Musidora Stakes having preceded her victory in the English Oaks.

Trainer Michael Bell said that Sariska would run next against older fillies and mares in the 1 1/2-mile, Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks at York on Aug. 20, after which an autumn campaign would be mapped out. The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is an intended target, although she would have to be supplemented for that 1 1/2-mile Oct. 4 contest at Longchamp, for which she is now 8-1 with both Ladbrokes and William Hill.