Sariska looks stronger in duel of Oaks winners with Snow Fairy

Snow Fairy has matched Sariska in both the substance and style of her achievements last year, winning all out in the Oaks at Epsom before cruising home in softer conditions at the Curragh. But now they square up in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks today and the younger filly may be punished for her insolence. Being a far more imposing physical specimen, Sariska was always going to flourish in her third season and saw off her old rival, Midday, here at York in May before giving the top-class colt Fame And Glory a good race when returning to Epsom in June.

Midday, who has since retained the Nassau Stakes, is 5lb better off for her latest defeat by Sariska. She is lightly raced at this distance and did rally well over 10 furlongs at Goodwood. Sariska was turned over at odds-on for this race last year, albeit Dar Re Mi subsequently put that reverse in a more flattering light. In a vintage race, it may just be that an extra turn of speed will today prove decisive for Sariska (3.25), who travels so luxuriantly through her races.

There is little such hesitation in recommending Maqaasid (2.15) for the Jaguar Lowther Stakes after that striking success in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. True, she has an extra furlong to cover and significant rain might make that an issue. However, she looks another very classy branch of a family tree that already includes several top-class performers at longer trips.

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