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York

  • 14:40 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes 1m 2f 88y

  • (fillies' Group 3) £65,000 added 3yo 6 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Good to Firm
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 2m 11.41s
  • Off time: 14:43:50

Sariska The Musidora Star

By Martin Kelly, PA Sport.   Last Updated: 13/05/09 5:01pm

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Sariska (left) - impressive success.

Sariska (left) - impressive success.

Sariska put herself in line to provide Michael Bell with a second Classic when shooting to Investec Oaks favouritism following her victory in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.

Four years on from Bell's Motivator warming up on the Knavesmire for his moment in the Derby limelight, Sariska braved the blustery winds to run out a snug winner under Jamie Spencer.

Ladbrokes were suitably impressed and make the filly their new 3-1 favourite for the Epsom event, with Boylesports and Paddy Power falling into line at 7-2, while the majority of layers offer 4-1.

"We have been to Epsom before with a good colt and we are going there now with a good filly, with a realistic chance of winning for the first time," said Bell.

With connections feeling the mile trip of the 1000 Guineas would prove too sharp after her staying-on fourth-place effort in the Fred Darling, Bell chose to miss Newmarket and step her up to a mile and a quarter.

And the decision paid dividends with the daughter of Pivotal overhauling Star Ruby to stake her Oaks claims by nearly four lengths.

Star Ruby took second behind the 3-1 winner, with the Queen's Enticement a further three and a half lengths adrift as the 7-4 favourite.

Bell continued: "It was a reasonably easy call for her to miss the Guineas as it would all have happened a bit quick for her and all her dam did was stay, stay and stay.

"We've always been fairly emphatic that the further she went, the better she would be. I love her and she is the apple of my eye.

"She lost a few friends after the Fred Darling but she showed at Newmarket last back-end what a good filly she is and she has proven it again today."

The Oaks would pose a new question with a further two furlongs thrown into the mix, but as a half-sister to the smart stayer Gull Wing, Bell has few concerns over her stamina.

He said: "I definitely wouldn't have any doubts about the Oaks trip.

"She took a long time to pull up, her dam and sister stayed a mile and six and Jamie was just saying that stamina won't be an issue at Epsom.

"She has a great temperament and was nicely on edge when we saddled her, whereas in the Fred Darling she was all fast asleep and she came out of the stalls like that."

Spencer is another chasing a second British Classic victory following on from Brian Boru's 2003 St Leger win.

He said: "She's a little sweetheart and I've always liked her. Some people were disappointed at Newbury, but I was over the moon with her really.

"The ground was the only issue today as there was no doubting her stamina.

"Today was the first time she's got a smack and she responded.

"You need to travel at Epsom, which is what she does and she would have to go there with a reasonable chance."

Star Ruby ran a cracker in the hands of Alan Munro stepped up to Group Three company on just her second racecourse outing having captured a Sandown maiden on her debut last month.

Her trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said: "I couldn't be happier with that and the winner is obviously a good filly.

"Alan thought he maybe should have kicked a little earlier but hindsight is a wonderful thing."

Asked whether he would supplement his filly for the Oaks at Epsom, the trainer added: "We will see but she is in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and she will have no problem with a mile and a half."

Sir Michael Stoute reported after the race that the ground was too fast for Enticement, who lost her unbeaten record in third.

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