Saturday 18 January 2020

Tapestry weaves magic spell to shock unbeaten Taghrooda

Trainer Aiden O'Brien
Trainer Aiden O'Brien

Marcus Armytage

The shock of Jamie Spencer's retirement announcement was almost matched at York by the first defeat of King George winner Taghrooda at the hands of Aidan O'Brien's Tapestry.

At 1/5 neither expert nor punter believed Taghrooda would meet her nemesis on Knavesmire, but O'Brien's Tapestry and Ryan Moore proved half-a-length too good in a terrific Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

Far from Taghrooda performing below her best, it is probably fair to say Tapestry has improved enormously. The pair put seven lengths between themselves and the third inside the last furlong.

"Taghrooda ran a great race," said John Gosden, who offered no excuses. "She was produced beautifully but I thought the other filly outstayed her. The other filly has really come to herself. I see no reason to deviate from the original plan [the Arc]."

O'Brien explained that Tapestry's saddle had slipped when she stumbled out of the stalls in the Irish Oaks in which she was second. "We have always thought that Tapestry was a really good filly and she stays so well," said the Ballydoyle trainer of the daughter of Galileo.

"And it was amazing she managed to finish so close in the Irish Oaks, considering her saddle slipped."

The extremely fast Tiggy Wiggy beat Royal Ascot winners Cursory Glance and Anthem Alexander in the Group Two Lowther Stakes, with all three dipping inside the two-year-old course record for six furlongs.

Tiggy Wiggy had been beaten narrowly by Anthem Alexander in the Queen Mary Stakes, but then won at Sandown and in breathtaking fashion at Newbury, all over five furlongs.

After another dominant display, jockey Richard Hughes acknowledged that she was coming to the end of her tether over the extra furlong: "She travelled so easily, but in the end I was wanting the line."

Tiggy Wiggy was quoted at around 16/1 for next year's 1,000 Guineas, but races such as the Prix l'Abbaye at Longchamp in October and the new Group One sprint for three-year-olds at Royal Ascot next summer look more likely targets. Cursory Glance, on the other hand, should improve for longer distances and has been promoted to 12/1 favourite for the Newmarket Classic in some lists. © Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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