Friday 23 August 2013

The Fugue back to best with Stylish York Victory

John Gosden’s assertion that his smart filly, The Fugue, would bounce back from a rare below-par effort in the Coral Eclipse Stakes and be the one to beat in the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks proved spot on as William Buick’s mount went one better than the previous year in easily accounting for Venus De Milo by four lengths.

Clearly ideally suited by the flat, galloping circuit, The Fugue - who landed the Group 3 Musidora Stakes on the Knavesmire in May 2012 before going on to lose out narrowly to French star, Shareta, by just a neck in the Yorkshire Oaks 12 months ago - cruised up on the bridle to join the leaders at the two furlong from home marker.

Once Buick asked her to go about her business, the contest was immediately over and done with, the talented daughter of Dansili storming clear of Irish Oaks runner-up, Venus de Milo, and Epsom Oaks runner-up, Secret Gesture.

It was a very different scene to the end of the Coral Eclipse Stakes some seven weeks earlier when The Fugue finished distressed after running a lifeless race in the feature contest won by Al Kazeem. Lord Lloyd-Webber’s filly was subsequently found to be suffering from a nasty virus but has recovered well from that setback.

Gosden’s star has a number of options open to her for the rest of the term with a possible tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October certainly not ruled out, especially if the ground is decent at the showcase Paris track. The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in the US is the other likely target, a race for which The Fugue has now been installed a clear 2/1 ante-post favourite with betfair.