Naas victory puts Tarfasha in the Investec Oaks picture
Last Updated: 14/05/14 9:29pm
Tarfasha roared into the Investec Oaks picture when winning the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Blue Wind Stakes at Naas with real authority for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.
Always held in high regard, the daughter of Teofilo was spotted cruising with a quarter of a mile to run after stablemate Tahaany and Dazzling had cut out the pace.
The 9/4 chance swept past her rivals when asked by Smullen and looked better the further they went, as befits a filly related to top stayers such as Galileo Rock and Saddler's Rock.
Eased close home, she had a ready three and a three-quarters of a length in hand over We'll Go Walking.
Weld said: "I thought she did it very nicely for a filly having her first run back.
"It was a very true-run race, Pat said she gave a little blow half a furlong down, but she got a second wind and ran on nicely.
"I'll have a word with Sheikh Hamdan, it's his decison but I'll be encouraging him to have a crack at the Epsom Oaks. I appreciate he has the favourite for the race (Taghrooda, trained by John Gosden).
"She handled that ground but will really love fast ground.
"She is a good filly and there's lots to look forward to, she stays well and will love to go a mile and a half."
Sky Bet responded to the victory by cutting Tarfasha from 33/1 to 10/1 for the Investec Oaks.
Cappella Sansevero made it two from two with a narrow success in the Fishery Lane Race, a race in which forecast odds-on favourite War Envoy, trained by Aidan O'Brien, was a non-runner.
The Ger Lyons-trained 2/1 market-leader had impressed at Dundalk last month and again travelled like a smart horse.
Easing to the front over a furlong out he went nicely clear, but O'Brien's debutant Dick Whittington cut back the deficit when getting a run.
In the end Colin Keane's mount was a head to the good in a race won by some smart performers in the past, including Dawn Approach two years ago.
The six-furlong contest had lost a little of its lustre when O'Brien's War Envoy was declared a non-runner earlier in the day.
Lyons said: "We came here to be second, but Aidan had the courtesy to take out his horse! These are funny little races, they went no gallop and we weren't sure about the ground.
"Colin said he just got away with the ground, it looked a bit dead on him.
"We came here for a bit of work to see where we would be heading, the plan was Royal Ascot and we wanted to see if we'd go to the Marble Hill as well.
"Everybody was knocking the form at Dundalk because he won so easily and he needed that today as it was like his first day.
"We'll look at the Marble Hill and I'd say he'd drop back a furlong for Royal Ascot (Norfolk Stakes).
"I'd rather win at Royal Ascot than finish second or third - there's no point running into those War Front horses [of O'Brien's] in the Coventry."
American import Due Diligence justified his position at the head of the market in the Woodlands 100 Club Handicap.
With Todd Pletcher in his juvenile season, the striking individual is now at Ballydoyle with O'Brien and was building on his maiden Irish effort which saw him finish third at Dundalk.
Soon to the front under Joseph O'Brien, it looked like the pack could possibly swallow him up at one stage but he found plenty when given a couple of reminders to prevail by a cosy length and a half as the 6-4 favourite.
O'Brien senior said: "We were worried about the ground and we were lucky to get away with it.
"He wouldn't have been liking it, but we felt he needed the run for experience before stepping up in grade.
"I would say he's a fast-ground horse and he wants five or six furlongs, he got six well there but seven might be a bit too far.
"He has the Greenlands and all those races - Darwin is also a possible for that.
"We might try to keep Guerre to five furlongs and we're thinking about six for Darwin as he is coming back from seven and a mile."
Icy Lady got off the mark at the third attempt when winning the Dragon Pulse European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden.
Third on both her previous starts, the daughter of New Approach (4/1) was always handy in the six-furlong event and asserted over a furlong and a half out.
Odds-on favourite Timbuktu had every chance but weakened close home as newcomer She's A Pistol took second, two and a half lengths behind the Kevin Manning-ridden winner.
Trainer Jim Bolger said: "Hopefully she will come back here for a Listed race and she could go to Ascot.
"We're happy enough with her over six furlongs."