The Oaks 2014: Taghrooda first in line for Paul Hanagan and Co


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The Independent Online

With her impressive victory in the Investec Oaks, Taghrooda provided a series of landmarks, a degree of compensation and some emotional comfort. She gave Paul Hanagan the first Classic of his career on his first ride in the race, and his first Group One success for his boss, Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum. She notched a first win in Europe's premier filly contest for trainer John Gosden, just two years after stablemate The Fugue was a most unlucky loser. And she was a first strike at the top level for her sire Sea The Stars, the 2009 Derby winner.

Taghrooda, a 5-1 shot, powered past the trailblazing Volume before the final furlong to score by nearly four lengths and take her record to three from three. Tarfasha, trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld, finished strongly to pip Volume by a nose and give the sheikh a one-two.

One of the sheikh's back-room men is his former jockey Richard Hills, who won the Oaks on Eswarah nine years ago. A tearful Hills lost his trainer brother John to cancer on Sunday and said: "He was very much part of this team and this one is for him."