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Investec Oaks: Taghrooda sitting Pretty at head of market

Taghrooda is the clear 5/2 favourite with Coral for the Investec Oaks following her stunning win in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, and looks to hold rock solid claims of providing trainer John Gosden with his first winner in the 1m 4f fillies’ classic.

A winner over 1m on her debut, the stoutly bred daughter Sea The Stars was sent off the even-money favourite under Paul Hanagan for the 1m 2f Listed contest and could not have been more impressive.

After racing keenly on the heels of the leaders, Taghrooda was asked to make her move two from home and after leading at the furlong marker showed a smart turn of foot to shoot clear in the dip and win by six lengths.

It was a breathtaking performance which earned her a Timform rating of 114p, making her the best Pretty Polly winner since Ouija Board in 2004.

Ouija Board went on to land the Oaks, as did Talent who won the Pretty Polly 12 months ago.

The further step up to 1m 4f in the Oaks will certainly be in Taghrooda’s favour, and there must be every chance that she will act on the track given that her sire had no problems with the undulations when landing the Derby in 2009.

There is simply nothing not to like about Taghrooda’s profile, and she looks a worthy market leader for the big race at Epsom on Friday, June 6th.

Another filly that ran a highly creditable trial for the Oaks during Guineas’ weekend was Ihtimal.

Saeed bin Suroor’s daughter of Shamardal finished a 3/4 length third to Miss France in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and lost little in defeat.

She was dropping back to a mile after winning Group 3 contest over 1m 2f at Meydan, and the step back up in trip at Epsom looks sure to suit.

Coral make the Godolphin-owned Ihtimal a 9/1 shot for Oaks glory, and unless a surprise package emerges in the remaining trials she looks likely to be the main danger to the unbeaten Taghrooda.