Tapestry out for further success
Tapestry is out to prove her win over Taghrooda in the Yorkshire Oaks last month was no fluke when she bids for her second consecutive Group One victory in the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Day at Leopardstown this weekend.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly upset the odds by beating the 2-7 favourite and Oaks winner at York in an impressive performance last time out. The three-year old heads the betting for the Irish contest on Saturday where she will take on the likes of Rizeena, Fiesolona and Kenhope over 1m.
If successful in the fillies and mares contest, connections may choose to run their mount at Longchamp in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe where she could be a big price at the moment at double digits for the premier race in Europe. Fillies have had a good record in the race in recent years so she will be looking to join the likes of Zarkava and Treve on the roll of honour.
The victory at York was Tapestry’s first in over 12 months. The Ballydoyle-owned filly finished last of the 17 runners in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May but did show improvement in her first attempt at 12f in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
There were no excuses from the connections of Taghrooda at York which proved she beat the Oaks winner fair and square. O’Brien was keen on his horse’s chances before the race and his confidence turned out to be correct.
Over in France this week, last year’s Arc winner Treve is back in action where she will be looking to bounce back from her disappointing show at Royal Ascot. The French-trained filly was unbeaten going into her four-year old campaign but suffered her first defeat when she went down by a short head to Cirrus Des Aigles at Longchamp in April. The margin of defeat was much bigger in her first visit to the UK where she came home behind The Fugue and Magician.
In order to justify her favouritism for her defence of the Arc, Treve is going to need to win on Sunday and put in a solid performance. She was successful in the Prix Vermeille on her way to her victory in Europe’s most prestigious race for the open age group. The opposition this time around does not appear too strong so she should be able to do just that.
Germany Derby winner Sea the Moon was beaten at Baden Baden last weekend so he has slipped down the betting, while Taghrooda and Australia both sit behind the defending champion.
With the first big National Hunt meeting of the 2014/15 season around the corner, bookmakers are betting on which trainer will finish with the highest prize money from the campaign. Nicky Henderson heads the market but his great rival Paul Nicholls is not far behind. Jonjo O’Neill is third best at single figures as he has been tipped to have a big year.
A lot will depend on what happens at the Cheltenham Festival 2015, in particular in the four championship races at the meeting. If Henderson or Nicholls win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and one of the other three races, they would more than likely win the title for the top trainer.
The race for the highest prize money may go as far as the Grand National at Aintree in April just like it did in 2012 when Neptune Collonges became the first grey to win the race. That victory put Nicholls in front on prize money at exactly the right time of the season to finish just above Henderson in the standings.