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Taghrooda dazzles in Oaks at Epsom
Tom Peacock
08:03 AEST Sat Jun 7 2014

Taghrooda has given jockey Paul Hanagan his first taste of Classic success with an impressive victory in the English Oaks at Epsom.

The dual champion jockey overcame one sticky moment before sweeping away and leading home Tarfasha in a one-two for his boss Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

As well as being 33-year-old Hanagan's Oaks debut, it was a first victory in the race for trainer John Gosden.

Taghrooda, who is still unbeaten, also represents a maiden Classic and Group One win for her burgeoning sire, the exceptional 2009 Derby winner Sea The Stars.

While she was officially recorded as an easy 3-3/4 length winner, Gosden said it was due to an impressive ride from Hanagan.

"He was very clever. We had the position we wanted but at the latter part of the bend at Tattenham Corner, she got a bump and it threw her on her off-fore and he was very quick to get back on the near-fore," Gosden said.

Hanagan said the race went to plan.

"It went like clockwork really," he said.

"I'd been planning it for the last month I think. She did get a bit of a bump and she changed legs, it took a while to get her organised again, but I was always happy from then.

"I'm just more delighted to give something back to Sheikh Hamdan and all the team. They've put a lot of faith in me, and John's team have done a marvellous job. I just pointed her today."

A big fish when with Richard Fahey in the smaller pond of the northern circuit, Hanagan admitted it had not been straightforward to adapt to life in Newmarket in such a high-profile role which he began two years ago.

"I'd ridden one Group winner before I got the job, that's why I keep saying it's nice to give something back," he said.

"I'd not had a lot of rides in Classics, but you have to start somewhere. That was my first ride in the Oaks and it means everything."

Volume and Richard Hughes dictated the pace and Luca Cumani's filly hung on to the bitter end and she was only a nose off finishing runner-up.


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