Varian still keen on Oaks tilt for Teona

Roger Varian remains keen on a tilt at the Cazoo Oaks with Teona following her third-placed finish in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.

The daughter of Sea The Stars was second-favourite for next month’s Epsom Classic before her seasonal reappearance on the Knavesmire, having been well-backed during the spring on the basis of a wide-margin victory on the all-weather at Newcastle in November.

While she met with defeat in Wednesday’s trial – picking up minor honours behind the front-running Snowfall and the regally-bred Noon Star – Varian saw enough encouragement in his filly’s performance to suggest she merits her place in the Oaks field.

Teona (far left) caught the eye in defeat at York
Teona (far left) caught the eye in defeat at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Teona pulled fiercely for her head in the early stages, but travelled smoothly into contention before being beaten just over four lengths.

Varian said: “It was a muddling race and not much of a trial, I don’t think, in terms of how it was run.

“We look at it as a trial – it wasn’t her main seasonal goal. It’s given her a day out and got some of the fizz out of her.

“When you’re a little bit fresh and keen and they’re going so slow up front, it’s very hard to win. I thought after they’d gone one furlong that she would struggle to win, but she shaped well and moved up nicely and will come on for the run.

“I should think that we’ll still look at the Oaks. I’ve lost no faith in her. She’s a very good filly and hopefully she’ll prove that in time.

“We put a line through the Musidora in terms of the result. But we learnt plenty, and it did her good to get a day out, so it wasn’t a complete loss.”

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