Aidan O'Brien to lay down gauntlet to Taghrooda in Yorkshire Oaks
Last Updated: 18/08/14 3:59pm
Aidan O’Brien plans to take on the brilliant Taghrooda, with both Venus De Milo and Tapestry in Thursday’s York feature, the Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
The unbeaten daughter of Sea The Stars sets the standard for fillies in Europe this year, having secured a brilliant triumph in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
However, the O’Brien-trained pair have some fine form to their names and should help ensure the mile and a half race is a memorable one.
Venus De Milo is back for a second tilt at the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, having finished runner-up to The Fugue twelve months ago. The four-year-old comes into her latest assignment off the back of a third place in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes earlier this month at Glorious Goodwood.
Tapestry was last seen a month ago, running a fine race to be second to stable mate Bracelet in the Darley Irish Oaks and Ballydoyle trainer O’Brien said:
“The plan is to run Venus De Milo and Tapestry in the Yorkshire Oaks. Both of them seem to be in good form since their last run. Obviously, we are hoping that they run well.”
Exciting sprint prospect Cougar Mountain is in line for a shot at the fastest race of the festival, the £265,000 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday.
He ran a blinder on his second career start to finish fifth, only three lengths behind Slade Power in the Darley July Cup last month. Now O’Brien has his charge poised for the fast five furlongs of the Knavesmire.
He said: “Cougar Mountain seems to be fine since his run in the July Cup. Obviously, it was a big jump up for a very young and inexperienced horse. So we have to be very careful and tender with him. But he seems to be in good form.”
As for Europe’s richest flat handicap, Saturday’s Betfred Ebor, at the Monday entry stage O’Brien left in El Salvador and said: “We will just have a look closer to the time.”