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Taghrooda wins England's Epsom Oaks
07:05 AEST Sat Jun 7 2014

Taghrooda stormed home to win the Epsom Oaks on Friday and supply jockey Paul Hanagan with his first classic success.

The unbeaten 5-1 chance, giving John Gosden his first win in the fillies' blue riband, shot clear of the field in the straight to win comfortably from Tarfasha (9-2) and Volume (9-1).

The first two were running in the colours of Dubai's Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum who told Channel 4: "He (Hanagan) rode a marvellous ride today.

"That is luck," he reflected on owning the winner and runner-up.

Gosden, adding this to his win with Kingman in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last month, said: "Paul rode it beautifully, to go and assert and show her class and stamina."

Hanagan beamed: "This is what I work for - absolutely brilliant. It was a big team effort."

Hanagan succeeded Richard Hills as number one jockey to Hamdan al-Maktoum, and Hills was the first to greet the winner in his capacity as part of Hamdan's backroom staff.

Hills cut an emotional figure with this classic win coming after the death last Sunday of one of his brothers, trainer John Hills, who trained for Hamdan.

"This is a big lift for the Hills family. John would have been watching, he said to me last week 'good luck Rich, I'll be with you," Hills said.

Hanagan commented: "We had really bad news recently with the death of John Hills, who was a big part of the team, and I'd just like to say this one is for him."

The 2014 Oaks, run in memory of the late Henry Cecil, an eight-time winner of the race who died last year, proved a major disappointment for 4-1 favourite Marvellous, who under Joseph O'Brien, son of trainer Aidan, never managed to strike a blow.

Volume, under Richard Hughes, led the field round Tattenham Corner with Hanagan biding his time in fourth.

In the straight Hanagan cruised past the pacesetter and once in front never looked like being beaten, coming in three and three quarter lengths up on Volume, who held on for second by a nose.

The result proved a notable one for Taghrooda's sire, 2009 Epsom Derby winner Sea The Stars as she was his first Group One winner.


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