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Taghrooda tapped

Unbeaten three-year-old campaigns at the very top level of Flat racing are almost as rare as hen's teeth. Cue Frankel and Sea The Stars.

It was 1/5 that beforehand that Taghrooda would maintain her unbeaten record and add the Darley Yorkshire Oaks to her memorable victories in the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Epsom Oaks and the King George this season, but, with no excuses to be offered, her unblemished record was taken away by a determined Ryan Moore and an even more determined Tapestry in a thrilling renewal of yesterday's feature.

Aidan O'Brien had earned the headlines with Australia 24 hours earlier but few expected the Ballydoyle master to complete a Group One double in such quick succession on the Knavesmire.

circumstances

They were circumstances that suited O'Brien and the Irish Oaks runner-up.

"It was probably great for us that Taghrooda was there because we were in there in the long grass and there was no pressure and we had a target and we knew what was going to take us there," the winning trainer explained.

Being bred as well as all of the Coolmore-owned runners are, there was no surprise that Tapestry was always held in such high regard and she was sent off the 4/1 favourite for the 1,000 Guineas in which she finished last.

"She was a Classic-bred filly and we trained her for the Guineas and it didn't work. That is often the pressure with the spring, you can train them hard when they are not quite ready for it but we eased her back and she is maturing all the time."

O'Brien won the Irish Oaks with Bracelet but Tapestry was only a neck behind under Joseph O'Brien and that was a performance the trainer described as "extraordinary".

stumbled

He said: "The last day she stumbled coming out of the stalls and the saddle went out on her rump. It was hard to believe she went the whole race with the saddle where it was and still just got beat. It was an incredible run."

As for future plans: "Soft ground would be a problem for her," O'Brien revealed. "She is a beautiful mover and a light-framed athletic filly so you wouldn't like to run her in soft ground. If all failed you'd imagine you would get fast ground in Santa Anita later in the year."

John Gosden and Paul Hanagan would offer no excuses for Taghrooda who lost little in defeat but further emphasised the admiration we should continue to have for Frankel and Sea The Stars.


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