06/06/2014 11:30AM

Taghrooda impresses in Epsom Oaks


Taghrooda’s group stakes debut Friday produced a romping victory in the Group 1 Epsom Oaks, a first win in the race for trainer John Gosden and jockey Paul Hanagan, who rode his first Classic winner.

Taghrooda, breaking from an outside draw, traveled well throughout the 1 1/2-mile Oaks, racing on the outside of horses from a stalking position as Volume set most of the pace. Taghrooda was full of run with about a half-mile left, tossing her head and asking to be let loose, but Hanagan kept her reined in until the final straightaway.

Once leveled out past the famed Tattenham Corner, Taghrooda was given her cue one notch at a time, bearing down on Volume, passing her with a quarter-mile left, and going on to a convincing 3 3/4-length victory.

Tarfasha, who raced near Taghrooda but couldn’t quicken with her, nipped a game Volume for second, with Inchila a close fourth. The Aidan O’Brien-trained favorite, Marvellous, never reached contention and checked in sixth.

Taghrooda appreciated the “good” going Friday at Epsom as well as the longest distance she’s yet tried, easily staying the 1 1/2-mile trip, clocking 2:34.89 over an approximate distance because a temporary rail had been set up to preserve the inner part of the course for Saturday’s Epsom Derby.

From the first crop of champion Sea The Stars, Taghrooda had won twice at Newmarket before her Oaks triumph, capturing a maiden race and the listed Pretty Polly Stakes, the same race that produced the 2013 Oaks winner, Talent. Taghrooda was bred and is owned by Sheik Hamdan al Maktoum, who won the Oaks for the third time.