You are here

Tarifa firmly on top in G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes


Progressive filly Tarifa announced herself as a serious Kentucky Oaks contender with an impressive display in the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds, USA, on Saturday, 17 February.

Encountering a sloppy track for the first time on her Stakes debut, Tarifa was quickly into her stride and settled in third behind Perfect Shot and Alpine Princess heading into the first turn.

V V's Dream moved up on Tarifa’s outside leaving the back before Flavien Prat switched the Godolphin homebred wide at the top of the straight to deliver her challenge. Tarifa stayed on well to take the lead from Perfect Shot and Alpine Princess entering the final furlong.

The Brad Cox-trained filly readily opened up daylight over her rivals, winning by nearly three lengths in the trial won by subsequent Kentucky Oaks winner Pretty Mischievous 12 months ago.

Brad Cox said: “I want to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the whole Godolphin team for this nice filly and a big win. Tarifa acted like she could run before her debut at Keeneland, where I thought the [seven-furlong] Beard Course there made sense for her.

“It was a big headscratcher on her second start at Churchill Downs going a one-turn mile, but she responded well here in January. She jumped out well today, got a good early position tracking the leaders and really finished up well.

“This race has been a great path to the Kentucky Oaks. This is a good filly and hopefully we can keep marching forward with her.”

Flavien Prat added: “Tarifa jumped very well and showed some early speed. I was able to get myself in a pocket on the first turn and was travelling well all the way round. She kicked on well.”