Liber Nauticus (centre) on her way to winninng the MusidoraPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Liber Nauticus comes out on top in Musidora
Report: York, Wednesday
Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f, 3yo fillies
LIBER NAUTICUS ground her rivals into submission with a strong galloping performance for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore, and is now a general 7-2 chance for the Investec Oaks at the end of the month.
Bookmakers were not blown away by the performance, as the cut to 7-2 came from around 5-1, and it was a fair reflection of an effort which got the job done and hinted there should be more to come.
For those looking for clues into whether the three-year-old will be effective at Epsom, it should be considered a plus that she was off the bridle from a fair way out but kept responding, suggesting that the step up to 1m4f will aid her chances.
Peter Reynolds, managing director for owners Ballymacoll Stud, felt the pace of the race did not suit. He said: "It was bit of a muddling race and she is still a big baby, it was only her second run and she'll have learnt a lot. I don't think we saw what she is capable of."
Moore settled Liber Nauticus in fifth, with Woodland Aria for company as Discernable made the running. Having turned for home, the pace was wound up all the way down the home straight, with the 4-6 favourite coming through to challenge as William Buick tracked the move on Woodland Aria.
While Buick's mount was travelling better, Moore organised Liber Nauticus to keep rolling along, and she kept finding for the jockey.
Deep inside the final furlong Woodland Aria's stamina started to give out with Romantic Settings (11-1) coming through for second, but Liber Nauticus did see the trip out well, winning by a length and a half.
Moore said: "She doesn't do a lot, she gives you what you ask for and I was very happy with the performance."
For runner-up Romantic Settings, a trip to Epsom is not on the agenda as trainer Richard Fahey said: "She's a nice filly who is improving but I don't think we'll be supplementing her for Epsom.
"We didn't know how good the winner was going to be so we rode a race to run well and it was a good run. We're delighted to get some black-type and with the winner having only her second run we'd like to see her win the Oaks."