Fugue has stamina to clinch Yorkshire Oaks for Gosden

THIS has already been a vintage year for trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick. Only Ireland’s father and son combination of Aidan and Joseph O’Brien have accrued more prize money.

Gosden and Buick’s phenomenal run of success began when The Fugue galloped to a spectacular, and imposing, win in York’s Musidora stakes in May – and she is tipped to prevail in today’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks, the Group One highlight on Ladies’ Day.

Stamina should not be a problem in this £310,000 test over a mile-and-a-half – The Fugue, owned and bred by composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber and his wife Madeleine, was a very unlucky loser in the Epsom Oaks when badly hampered.

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Yet she showed her class when winning the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood this month, though it was Richard Hughes – and not Buick – who was in the saddle because the latter was on stablemate Izzi Top, the beaten favourite.

Today’s task will not be easy. O’Brien’s shock Oaks winner, Was, is in the field, though her two subsequent runs have disappointed. She was only fourth to the Gosden and Buick-inspired Great Heavens in Ireland’s Pretty Polly Stakes and was then third to The Fugue at Goodwood.

There will be stiff competition, too, from the French raider Shareta.

But Gosden, whose Thought Worthy won yesterday’s Group One St Leger trial at York under an inspired Buick, is confident. He said: “The Fugue has been in good form since the Nassau and she goes well on the track. She is stepping back up in trip but she is in good order.”

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The trainer is equally bullish about Newfangled’s bid for glory in the Group Two Jaguar Cars Lowther Stakes.

The unbeaten New Approach filly could hardly have been more impressive when streaking away to win the Group Three Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot; Buick having to do very little to earn his riding fee.

She tackles 10 rivals in the £110,000 contest and looks sure to be sent off favourite.

“Newfangled seems fine. The Lowther has always been the plan – so we are sticking to it,” said the trainer, who warned that Camborne, his intended runner in Saturday’s Betfred Ebor, would “appreciate a drop of rain”.

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James Fanshawe holds Badr Al Badoor in high regard and she certainly looked the part on her only start to date at Doncaster.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Mohamed Obaida, said: “She carried a temperature which prevented her from running at Ascot. She is less experienced than some of her rivals, which is a concern, but she did it very well on debut and the form has been franked. She came between horses that day and quickened very well – we are hopeful of a big run.”

Meanwhile, champion trainer Richard Hannon will launch a formidable twin assault onthe DBS Premier Yearling Stakes with both Mister Marc and Annunciation major contenders for the lucrative prize.

He won the corresponding race with Elnawin in 2008 and is hopeful he can repeat the feat as this year’s pair go in search of the massive first prize of nearly £150,000.

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Heading the market is the Roger Varian-trained Rocky Ground. He absolutely bolted up on his introduction at Yarmouth, while it would not be a huge surprise if Goodwood winner Blessington prevailed for Gosden and Buick,

Significant Yorkshire contenders include Tim Easterby’s Super Sprint winner Body And Soul and Kevin Ryan’s Windsor Castle scorer Hototo.

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