John Gosden strengthened his hand for the Oaks when Star Of Seville made all the running in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York yesterday.
While Pretty Polly winner Jazzi Top is already single figures in some lists for the Classic, the master of Clarehaven seems more taken by the chances of the Lady Bamford-owned filly, who saw her silks carried to victory in the race by Sariska in 2009.
Frankie Dettori, who has few peers when allowed to dictate from the front, set only a steady gallop but she showed an impressive turn of foot to quickly go three lengths clear a furlong out and the race looked over.
However, the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade began to idle having been out on her own for so long and Aidan O’Brien’s Fillies’ Mile winner Together Forever closed to within a head, but Dettori always felt there was more in the tank.
“Frankie said she was just waiting in front. That was a Group One filly coming at her. Luckily, when she got there she started going again. It is a long time to be in front for an inexperienced filly,” said Gosden.
“I don’t think Epsom will be a problem, as she is a well-balanced filly. The second is a Group One winner by Galileo and is no mug.
“We might go to the Breakfast With The Stars event (at Epsom), which will give us something to talk about over baked beans.”
Coral have the winner and the second at 6-1 for the Investec Oaks with Ladbrokes favouring the runner-up at 7-1 over Star Of Seville at 9-1.
Jazzi Top is also scheduled for the pre-Classic event at Epsom but it is Royal Ascot Gosden is thinking of for his unbeaten colt Mahsoob (11-4 favourite), who looked better than a handicapper when passing nearly the whole field in the 888Sport Stakes.
Form stall 18 Paul Hanagan had little option but to drop in and three furlongs out he appeared to be going nowhere, but the overdrive kicked in and his rider eventually struggled to pull him up passing the line.
“I told Paul to ride him with confidence and he did,” said Gosden.
“He’s in the Hardwicke and the Prince of Wales’s, but races like that are a big step up.
“He’s taken some pulling up there, just like at Newbury, so on watching it again I think we’d be better off stepping him up in trip, so it looks like the Hardwicke.”
David Simcock’s 40-1 chance Glass Office came out in top in a blanket finish to the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes.
Ridden by Jim Crowley, the grey had shown smart form at two and three but only raced once last season, in Dubai.
He beat Tim Easterby’s three-year-old Mattmu by a head, with a neck back to Jack Dexter.
“He was entitled to improve for his first run in 16 months,” said Simcock.
“I don’t care how much work I could have put into him, he was never going to be ready first time. It was just a question of getting him back on track and getting a run into him and the freshness out of him. He actually ran very well in the Palace House over a trip far too sharp.
“He will go to Ascot now, then to the July Cup. It is a set pattern. I am pretty sure he will come on again.”
Algar Lad (14-1) won for the first time over six furlongs in the Infinity Tyres Stakes.
Ridden confidently by Sam James, David O’Meara’s five-year-old travelled sweetly throughout before being asked to put the race to bed a furlong from home.
O’Meara, leading trainer at York last year, said: “He had his first run for us over six at Ripon and he ran well behind Pipers Note and met a bit of trouble.
“We weren’t thinking about races like the Wokingham and the Stewards’ Cup before this, but now we might have to.”
Richard Guest landed a nice touch when Udododontu was backed from 20-1 into 8s to run out a ready winner of the Conundrum HR Consulting Handicap and spark Royal Ascot dreams.
Guest said: “I told everybody he was a certainty today and hopefully they were all on.
“He’ll get a mile and I hope he goes up enough for this to get in the Britannia, he’ll need to be low 90s, and if he doesn’t I’ll run him again.”
Kevin Ryan’s debut winner Areen (3-1) is another heading to Berkshire after landing the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.
“Jamie’s (Spencer) given him a great ride because even though that was a race he doesn’t know he’s had one,” said Ryan.
“I wanted to give him another run but he doesn’t need one after that and it will be straight to the Norfolk now. He’s very good.”
Libran defied a penalty to win the AGP Ltd Celebrates Steve Johnson’s 50th Stakes with something in hand.
The Alan Swinbank-trained gelding had won over 10 furlongs at Beverley earlier this month and handled just his second try at a mile and a half to beat Pressure Point by a length.
Swinbank said of the 13-2 winner: “He went up 10lb, so he was well-in really.
“We could look at Ascot, but the Old Newton Cup might suit.”
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