Monday 24 November 2014

Epsom Oaks rematch still a possibility for the Curragh

Nick Robson

Published 03/07/2014 | 02:30

Tarfasha, with Pat Smullen up, on their way to winning the Topaz European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Tarfasha, with Pat Smullen up, on their way to winning the Topaz European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

THE possibility of the first two home in the Epsom Oaks – Taghrooda and Tarfasha – clashing in the Irish equivalent is still on the cards. Both fillies are owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, with Taghrooda trained by John Gosden and Tarfasha by Dermot Weld.

Taghrooda came out on top at Epsom but on home territory Tarfasha may be a tougher nut to crack – unless the ground is soft which would place her participation in doubt.

"We've not really discussed it as yet as all sorts of things can still go wrong, especially with fillies," said the owner's racing manager Angus Gold. "Both could still run, but we'll see how both are nearer the time and then we'll ask Sheikh Hamdan whether he wants to run them both again.

"Both of them have been in very good form. Tarfasha wouldn't want it soft so if it went heavy that would probably rule her out.

"Once they start some faster work closer to the race we'll see, but Sheikh Hamdan will decide."

Third home at Epsom, Volume is also entered in the July 19 showpiece, as is Aidan O'Brien's Marvellous, which finished sixth after starting 4/1 favourite.

Meanwhile, Cirrus Des Aigles continues to recover well after his scare on Epsom Derby Day with trainer Corine Barande-Barbe optimistic the popular gelding can return for an autumn campaign.

The eight-year-old had passed the post for his sixth Group One win when he pulled up lame, and jockey Christophe Soumillon jumped off. He was able to walk soundly soon after and X-rays revealed no lasting damage.

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