The Fugue was catapulted towards the head of the betting for the Investec Oaks after an imperious display in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York yesterday.
John Gosden’s filly was having just her third start having run a respectable fourth in the 1000 Guineas 10 days earlier.
She was struck into on that occasion but thankfully the damage was only superficial, allowing her wound to heal in time for her to gain valuable experience in the recognised Oaks trial.
However, all the pre-race talk was about Aidan O’Brien’s Twirl, one of a strong contingent of Classic fillies from Ballydoyle this season.
Twirl ended up being sent off the 5-6 favourite allowing The Fugue to start at odds of 15-8 but William Buick was sitting pretty at the two-furlong marker while Joseph O’Brien was already asking his mount to quicken.
When Buick pressed the button, The Fugue stretched four and a half lengths clear and is now 4-1 second-favourite with Paddy Power for the Classic. Boylesports are biggest at 5s.
“The better ground has made a big difference to her,” said Gosden.
“She’s a lovely filly and she was unlucky in the Guineas when she was struck into. All being well she’ll run at Epsom now, but she wouldn’t want it soft. In case it is, we’ll also leave her in the French Oaks.
“William was a bit cocky between the one and the two but he felt he had Joseph’s measure.
“I didn’t like bringing her here just 10 days after the Guineas, but I felt we had to find out if she was good enough for Epsom.
“If Aidan’s horse hadn’t run you could have questioned the form, but they really like her and she was heavily backed.”
Buick added: “She felt very good. She was a little bit keen early on and she’s still inexperienced, so when horses come around her, she’s a very reactive filly.
“I just tried to get her to settle and she picked up really well — she’s class.
“At Epsom you need tactical speed and she certainly has that.”
Kevin Ryan was over the moon after saddling Tiddliwinks to a 25-1 surprise success in the Duke of York totepool Stakes.
The winner’s stablemate Bogart, only a three-year-old, made a bold bid from the front and ended up fourth while The Cheka and Society Rock made late ground, but Jamie Spencer stole the race a furlong out.
“We really did fancy him. I knew Bogart would run well but he’s going to improve an awful lot for the outing,” said Ryan.
“I thought he’d got there too soon, but when Jamie gave him a squeeze he just took off. Thankfully, he held on.’’
Paul Hanagan reported Mayson boiled over in the stalls while Hoof It stayed on into fifth.
Ron Harris has never been scared to ask his horses plenty of questions and Secret Witness is set to turn out again today after his win in the William Birch & Sons Construction Stakes yesterday.
Having only run at Ascot on Saturday, the 14-1 chance burst clear under James Doyle and held on by half a length from Baby Strange and Fast Shot.
“He loved the ground and he’s come on a lot from his run the other day. He’ll run again tomorrow — there’s no reason why not. He ran twice in two days at Doncaster last year,” said Harris.
Gosden and Buick had won the earlier Infinity Tyres Stakes with the unexposed Gatewood (13-2) while Marcus Tregoning had a welcome winner when Mulaqen ran away with the Constant Security Stakes under Hanagan.
Declan Carroll’s Lastchancelucas was a 100-1 winner on debut two weeks ago at Pontefract and followed up at 8-1 in the ripleycollection.com EBF Novice Stakes.
Hanagan doubled on for his old boss Richard Fahey on the well-backed 5-1 favourite Baccarat in the McArthurglen’s York Designer Outlet Stakes.
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