Michita all the rage to lift Oaks after trial win

first_imgHorse racing Horse racing Chris Cook at Goodwood · Gosden hoping for rain ahead of Classic bid· Lush Lashes friendless for Sunday’s Irish Guineas … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp Michita all the rage to lift Oaks after trial win Share on Facebook “There’s a nice gap to the Irish Oaks, it’s not like it’s the next week. I think you’ll see Jim at Epsom.”It certainly looks as though Lush Lashes will not be turning up at The Curragh for Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas. William Hill reported yesterday that all the money was for others in the race and they were forced to cut market-leader Nahoodh twice, to 3-1 and then into 11-4.Royal Ascot next month is the most likely target for City Leader, who stayed on stoutly to land yesterday’s David Wilson Homes Stakes, formerly the Predominate. “His owners aren’t short of Derby winners,” said trainer Brian Meehan, explaining his immediate instinct for avoiding Epsom with the grey, but it is more than a quarter of a century since the Sangster family’s famous blue and green colours were carried to success in the Derby by the gutsy Golden Fleece and the matter may not yet be closed.”There’s sure to be a lot of thinking and we’ve got a bit of time to decide,” said Ben Sangster. “The jockey [Jamie Spencer] said to me, just go to Ascot, he’s not sure he’ll suit Epsom. I didn’t really ask him why not. Funnily enough, he suited Goodwood and Goodwood’s kind of twisty and up and down.”Course form may be the deciding factor, as City Leader is unbeaten in two starts at Ascot, so the odds favour a bid for the King Edward VII Stakes there. The colt remains unchanged at 50-1 for the Derby with Stan James after yesterday’s victory.Three of yesterday’s races were named in honour of Alan Ball, the World Cup-winning footballer who died last year. His 32-year-old son, Jimmy, spoke of his father’s passion for racing, which transcended his status as an unlucky punter.”He had his days but he always seemed to just hit the post. If he was in line for a treble, the third one would go down,” said Ball Jr, who followed the family tradition by putting a free £2,000 charity bet on Whistledownwind,only fourth behind City Leader.The British Horseracing Authority will hold a directions hearing today in the case of trainer Paul Blockley and jockey Dean McKeown, who were charged with corruption offences earlier this month. The case is the first of its kind to be brought by the BHA since the collapse of the Kieren Fallon trial in December.Ayr enquiry under wayThe British Horseracing Authority will hold an enquiry into the the abandonment of yesterday’s meeting at Ayr. A false patch of ground was found three furlongs from the winning post, and the meeting was called off on the advice of those including jockeys’ safety officer, Dale Gibson. Local trainer Jim Goldie, who had nine runners, said: “It could have been dolled off, but I understand why the decision was taken.” Michita won the Height of Fashion Stakes in impressive style. Photograph: Julian Herbert/Getty Images Goodwood’s Classic trials, the Lupe and the Predominate Stakes, have fallen to so many moderate horses in recent times that they lost those historic titles last year. But the Height Of Fashion Stakes, as the Lupe is now known, may have produced a high-quality winner yesterday in Michita, who set herself on the Oaks trail with an impressive 4½-length success.Michita is the latest in a seemingly endless line of classy three-year-old fillies from John Gosden’s yard. The Newmarket trainer sent out Infallible to be fourth in the 1,000 Guineas, while his Dar Re Mi was briefly prominent in the Oaks market after hacking up in a maiden contest at Sandown last month.But Dar Re Mi was beaten in her trial, last week’s Musidora Stakes at York, and it seems that Gosden is pinning his hopes on Michita. “You’d like a filly going to Epsom to have more experience but it shouldn’t put you off,” he said.A winner over a mile on her only outing as a two-year-old, Michita was predictably outpaced over seven furlongs on her reappearance. “Once you’ve won your maiden first time out, it’s very, very difficult to find a race – that was the only one for her in April,” Gosden explained. “Fortunately, that just settled her down, having a run – she was not too easy to saddle that day.”Gosden said he was now hoping for some rain ahead of the Oaks, as soft ground would undermine the chances of Lush Lashes, the current favourite. Jim Bolger, trainer of Lush Lashes, has indicated that he would rather save his filly for the Irish Oaks in mid-July, but Gosden laughingly dismissed such hesitation. “He’s going to find it hard to resist, isn’t he, let’s be honest. Just a bit! Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Share via Email The Oaks Topicscenter_img Shares11 @claimsfive The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Support The Guardian Wed 21 May 2008 22.55 EDT First published on Wed 21 May 2008 22.55 EDT Read more Share via Email Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more