Twirl poised to stake Oaks claim

Aidan O’Brien has any amount of fillies to choose from for the Oaks and Twirl can add her name to the list with victory in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York today.

Like so many from the Ballydoyle Stable, Twirl is regally bred being a full sister to Irish 1000 Guineas winner Misty For Me.

Twirl won one of her two maiden starts last term but looked in need of her seasonal bow when second in the Group Three Park Express Stakes at the Curragh Group Three in March.

O’Brien said: “If Twirl came through the Musidora Stakes she could join Maybe and Kissed in the Investec Oaks.

“Kissed is a good filly but still a little inexperienced. She worked well on the grass on Monday as did Maybe, who is by Galileo so should stay the longer distance at Epsom.

“Maybe needed her race in the Guineas and she should be sharper for it. She was staying on at the end of the mile, so I would be optimistic that she would get the trip, and she is one who is not short of experience.”

John Gosden will find out which direction he takes with The Fugue for the rest of the season after her run in the Musidora.

The Dansili filly ran a pleasing race to finish fourth in the 1000 Guineas less than two weeks ago on what was just her second racecourse start on the back of a win in a Newmarket maiden last October.

She is prominent in the betting for the Investec Oaks but Gosden is unsure about her stamina over a mile and a half and feels he will find out a lot more this week.

“She ran a nice race at Newmarket in the 1000 Guineas, especially as one ran into the back of her after a furlong or so, which meant she lost her stride for a bit,” said Gosden.

“However, she finished the race strongly and has been in good form since. She lacks racing experience and we are keen to run her to see which route we go down — whether we stay at a mile and a quarter or go a mile and a half.

“Unfortunately the races come quite close together but I’m happy with her.”

Esentepe was a surprise winner of the Nell Gwyn at the Craven meeting for Middleham Park Racing and Richard Hannon and steps up to 10 furlongs for the first time.

She finished last of six over a mile last time out at Goodwood, but that was on very soft ground.

“She has already won a Group Three (Nell Gwyn Stakes), but that makes her difficult to place,” said Hannon’s son and assistant Richard jnr.

“She hated the wet ground at Goodwood last time, but she is tough and this race has always been in the back of our minds.”

Mark Johnston’s Good Morning Star was a surprise 50-1 winner of the Cheshire Oaks at Chester last week and she is out again in an attempt to strike while the iron is hot.

Franny Norton, the Chester specialist, retains the partnership.

“We’re going there to hopefully prove it wasn’t a fluke,” Norton told At The Races.

“She went to Chester with a rating of 76 and it wasn’t the strongest Listed race the Cheshire Oaks, the ground was a factor also.

“So we’ll just go there and have a look and see where she’s going after that — who knows, if it wasn’t a fluke there might be bigger and better things to come from her.

“The idea is to strike while the ground is in her favour.”


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