Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Still no Hamdan Oaks decision

Tarfasha (left) and Taghrooda

Leading owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum will wait until later in the week before deciding whether to let star fillies Taghrooda and Tarfasha lock horns for a second time in Saturday's Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

The John Gosden-trained Taghrooda got the better of Dermot Weld's Tarfasha in the Investec Oaks at Epsom in early June and both are among 15 horses still in contention for this weekend's Group One feature.

Asked whether both could run, Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager Angus Gold said: "I honestly don't know and as is always the case, those decisions will be made by Sheikh Hamdan. Both fillies have been left in at this stage and we'll make a decision on running plans later in the week. Both trainers are keen to run and tell me their fillies are in good form, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Aidan O'Brien has saddled three previous Irish Oaks winners and is mob-handed this time around, with Ribblesdale Stakes heroine Bracelet joined by five stable companions in Beyond Brilliance, Just Gorgeous, Marvellous, Palace and Tapestry.

Taghrooda is not the only potential British challenger, with Luca Cumani's Volume, the Mick Channon-trained Nancy From Nairobi and Richard Hannon's Lustrous also in contention.

Weld has also left in Vote Often.

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