See The Stars began York’s Ebor meeting in a blaze of glory on Tuesday and champion filly Sariska can complete the week with another classic victory in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday.
Sariska (3f Pivotal – Maycocks Bay by Muhtarram) has won the English Oaks and Irish Oaks at her last two outings and will emulate Alexandrova and Ramruma if she completes the treble tonight.
The Pivotal filly defeated subsequent Nassau Stakes (G1) winner Midday at Epsom and then had three lengths to spare at the Curragh. “Sariska is in very good form and I’ve been really pleased with her,” trainer Michael Bell said. “She looks great and has been working well.”
Sariska has only been beaten once in five starts since her winning debut at Newmarket last November. She returned this term and was beaten first-up in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury in April. But the real Sariska then turned up in the Musidora Stakes (G3) at York in her final lead-up to the classics.
She is a half-sister to the Listed winner Gull Wing and their dam Maycocks Bay was also a Listed winner in the 2002 Silver Cup at York. Third dam Mountain Lodge (Blakeney) was trained by John Dunlop to win the 1983 Irish Leger and the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.
Bell is keen on taking Sariska to France for the Arc de Triomphe though he wants to get the Yorkshire Oaks out of the way first. Bookmakers make her a 4-11 favourite for the Oaks ahead of Lord (Andrew) Lloyd Webber’s homebred Dar Re Mi at 4-1. His Singspiel filly is a last start winner of the G1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
The Yorkshire Oaks is timed for 12.25am on Thursday night (AEST).
Champion colt See The Stars (Cape Cross) could also be a starter in the Arc. He was installed a 4-1 favourite for the Longchamp showpiece after his magnificent victory in the Juddmont International on Tuesday.
Arguably the world’s best racehorse, Sea The Stars defeated gallant runner-up Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer) in track-record time. “Mastercraftsman is no tourist,” winning trainer John Oxx said. “My horse had to fight a bit and he only just does enough, but as long as he keeps winning we won’t worry.”
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said Mastercraftsman loved a battle and he was certainly not disgraced in what was a thrilling renewal of the Juddmonte. “It was a great race and the winner is a great horse,” O’Brien said. “I’m not sure where Mastercraftsman will go now but all options are open to him.”