In a week of fevered classic trial action at both Newmarket and Newbury, one performance that really caught the eye was the winning debut of the John Gosden-trained filly Lah Ti Dar in a maiden event at Newbury on Friday.
By world-class stallion Dubawi, out of the superb racemare Dar Re Mi (see video below), Gosden’s charge is also a full sister to the talented So Mi Dar, winner of the Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York in 2016 as a three-year-old before only just failing to land the coveted Group 1 Prix De l’Opera at Longchamp later that year.
Contesting the 1m2f BJP Celebrating 20 Years Maiden Fillies’ Stakes – a race previously won by subsequent Oaks winners Eswarah (2005) and Dancing Rain (2011) – the mount of Frankie Dettori (pictured top) started 7/2 joint-favourite to get her career off to a winning start. She faced thirteen rivals, some of whom were also debutantes. Others, including Ralph Beckett’s Arcadian Cat (9/2), had already shown a good level of form in maiden company last term.
Those who backed Lah Ti Dar despite her lack of experience had few anxious moments. She travelled very smoothly in the hands of the former champion jockey, led at the two furlong pole, then eased clear with the minimum of fuss to score by six lengths from Arcadian Cat. The promising Quicksand (25/1) also shaped well in third, just half a length behind the runner-up.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, owner-breeder of potential Oaks candidate Lah Ti Dar
Like her mother and sister, Lah Ti Dar is owned by Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who as well as being one of the all-time great writers of Broadway and West End musical smash hits, has a distinguished record of breeding some very fine racehorses. He’s won many big races, but in the shape of his latest equine hit may just have the right filly for the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 1.
It’s a long way from winning a Newbury maiden to landing the Oaks six weeks later, but as mentioned earlier, it has been done twice in the last 13 years and Lah Ti Dar is already down to just 12/1 with 888sport to also complete the feat. She might well head to York in three weeks’ time to bid for the Musidora Stakes and follow in her sister’s hoof prints.
“I think she’s matured and done really well over the winter,” Lloyd-Webber’s racing manager Simon Marsh told reporters at Newbury. “The vibes from [John Gosden] were that she’d improved and done really well. She couldn’t have done that any better and Frankie loved her. He said she stayed and will stay further and I don’t think that’s in any doubt.”