/ Racing

Smullen hoping Tarfasha can turn Oaks tables on Taghrooda

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 11:53 | Comments

Pat Smullen aboard Tarfasha wins The Topaz European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at Galway last year
Pat Smullen aboard Tarfasha wins The Topaz European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at Galway last year

Pat Smullen is hoping racing on a more favourable course will help Tarfasha in her bid to turn the tables on Taghrooda in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday.

Taghrooda was a convincing three and three-quarter length winner of the Investec Oaks when the pair gave owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum a one-two at Epsom.

The pair may meet again in the Irish version with the John Gosden-trained Taghrooda odds-on to confirm the form and complete the Classic double.

However, Smullen, stable jockey to trainer Dermot Weld, reports Tarfasha to be in tip-top condition ahead of the possible rematch.

"She's very well but obviously connections have the red-hot favourite in the race as well. Tarfasha is in great order and ready to run," Smullen told At The Races.

"The race went perfectly for me at Epsom. The winner was just extremely good on the day but it's a different day and different track.

"Our filly will be happier at the Curragh and I expect her to improve for Epsom, but whether she's improved enough to beat the winner, who knows?”

Aidan O'Brien has six possibles - Beyond Brilliance, Bracelet, Just Gorgeous, Marvellous, Palace and Tapestry - as he tries to win the race for a fourth time, but his first since 2008.

Marvellous was just sixth to Taghrooda at Epsom after winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Bracelet won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot while Tapestry has not hit top form this year and has not run beyond a mile.

Her latest effort was in the Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting when she was sixth to Rizeena.

"Bracelet, Tapestry - Joseph [O'Brien, jockey] is happy with both of them and Marvellous. They are all there. There's the filly that won at Killarney on Monday night [Palace] and the other one that ran in that Listed race [Beyond Brilliance, third], said O'Brien.

"Joseph would be very much of the opinion that on fast ground Tapestry would love it and if there's ease in the ground we know Marvellous handles that. There are lots of options.

"We were delighted with Tapestry at Ascot. She had a break after the Guineas and it was a lovely run at Ascot. They went slow and it probably didn't suit her, but she didn't look as though she was empty when she was finishing.

"Obviously this is a big step up. That's the thing, you're not sure, but we'd have to be happy with her."

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