Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Tarfasha and Smullen look very strong in Oaks

Oaks chance: Pat Smullen rides Tarfasha at Curragh
Oaks chance: Pat Smullen rides Tarfasha at Curragh

Tarfasha is strongly fancied to make the most of Taghrooda's absence and claim a third Darley Irish Oaks triumph for Dermot Weld at the Curragh this evening.

For all that the €400,000 feature is a lesser Group One without the scintillating Epsom heroine, it is still a competitive affair comprising a raft of worthy contenders.

As ever, Ballydoyle is well represented with Ryan Moore reunited with his 1,000 Guineas-winning mount Marvellous.

In first-time blinkers, you couldn't discount Marvellous under a no-nonsense rider who is arguably the most complete Flat jockey in the world right now.

The daughter of Galileo failed to figure at Epsom and it may well be that she didn't fully stay but she deserves another chance on this more even course, bidding to become just the eighth horse to complete the Irish fillies' Classics double.

Joseph O'Brien is on Tapestry which ran encouragingly when keeping on to be sixth behind Rizeena in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Bracelet is another of the Aidan O'Brien quintet that couldn't be discounted, as she showed great heart to grind out a win over this trip in Ascot's Ribblesdale Stakes, with the Richard Hannon-trained runner-up Lustrous also re-opposing.

Lustrous and Luca Cumani's Epsom third Volume are charged with stretching to six the number of successive exported Irish Oaks.

Both warrant respect, but Tarfasha went to Epsom on an upward curve and she emerged with plenty of credit despite being soundly beaten by the classy Taghrooda.

Pat Smullen's mount sets the standard and should be very hard to beat.

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