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Across the Pond

Talent Tops Irish Oaks eight

Talent 2 615 X 400
Photo: Emma-Louise Kerwin (Goodtosoft.co.uk)
Ralph Beckett's Epsom Oaks heroine Talent heads a field of eight bidding for glory in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh this weekend.

A scintillating winner of the Epsom Classic in May, Talent has not been seen on a racecourse since that event with her trainer opting to keep the three year old fresh for her attempt at completing the cross-waters Oaks double. Partnered by Richard Hughes to Epsom glory, Talent renews her partnership with stable jockey Jim Crowley - whom has a perfect 2-for-2 record about the filly - in this contest. 

Beckett had also planned to enter Secret Gesture but, with the filly sustaining a small knock to a hind leg in training this week, the Qatar Racing owned daughter of Galileo now figures to have a few days off work before being targetted towards the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood at the tail end of the month.

Lacking in numbers, Britian certainly make up for it in quality in being responsible for a strong hand entered in this year's renewal of the Irish Oaks. Supplemented into the race at a cost of 40,000 by Juddmonte Farms, impressive Ribblesdale Stakes winner Riposte will bid to provide Lady Cecil with her first Irish winner. An emotional winner at Royal Ascot just nine days after the passing of Sir Henry Cecil, Riposte bids to further enhance Lady Cecil's exceptional 34% strike rate with three year olds and provide her with her first winner from just two Irish runners. 

Scratched from the Ribblesdale Stakes just hours before the contest when figuring to be the post-time favourite, Alive Alive Oh looks poised to get her chance to enhance a lofty reputation when thrown in at the highest level in this contest.
 
The Irish have waxed lyrical about the potential star qualities of Tommy Stack's filly since her runaway success n a Listed contest at the beginning of May, but ground conditions and the filly going into season have prevented her from running since. However, with the ground likely to show up considerably fast on Saturday afternoon, doubts are still casting a shadow as to whether the daughter of Duke of Marmalade will run once again. Will Tommy Stack's filly ever get the chance to show what she can do?

A race which bids to tie in a vast array of European Classic form, Alain de Royer-Dupre has declared Chicquita in this contest, with Johnny Murtagh booked to ride. A four-length second in the Prix de Diane to the impressive Treve last time out, Chicquita brings an intriguing form line to the contest that harbours the hopes of late-season Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe glory for her conquerer. 

Aidan O' Brien is responsible for three of the eight entries in this event with the most noteable being Venus de Milo, who was impressive in victory at Naas last time in just her second lifetime race.
 
Unraced as a two year old, Venus de Milo looks to provide Ballydoyle with their second Classic victor of the year whom was unraced as a juvenile, the first being Ruler of the World. Seamie Heffernan keeps the ride on the exceptionally exciting daughter of Duke of Marmalade who will relish the ground conditions.

Joseph O' Brien partners Just Pretending. Third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and second behind Riposte in the Ribblesdale Stakes, Just Pretending is perfectly bred to handle the considerably fast ground expected at the Curragh this weekend, but whether she is good enough to win a strong renewal of the Irish Oaks casts doubt over her chances. 

Magical Dream completes the O' Brien trio with Scintillula representing the Jim Bolger yard.

 

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Older Comments about Talent Tops Irish Oaks eight...

Talent & Riposte are clearly the 2 best fillies in the field, but the rest of the Irish Oaks field is also made up of fillies who all have very good recent form lines themselves. Among them being Chicquita, the G1 Prix De Diane 2nd, Just Pretending, the G2 Ribblesdale Stakes 2nd, Alive Alive Oh, the Salsibal Stakes winner, and Venus De Milo, the Naas Oaks Trial winner. This should be an interesting renewal.
  • jonquil · Like everyone else I like both Talent & Riposte very much, but I'm not so sure I'd say they're clearly the best 2 in the field. I know on paper Chicquita doesn't look like much, but that 2nd in the Prix de Diane was to Treve and that 8th in the Prix Lunadix? According to every source I've read she would've won that race if not for a freak accident. She's definitely impressive, and a big question for her would be if she travels well. And it's not just Chicquita who could beat out the favorites. I'd say all of these fillies have a good chance and the Irish fillies will have the home advantage of course, imo. Either way, I feel this could be a very promising and exciting race and I hope it delivers. I'd love to see Riposte, Talent or Chicquita win, but more than that I've just been really anticipating this race for weeks! · 399 days ago
  • jonquil · and by travels well I don't mean travels well in a race. She already does that, it's just a question of whether she travels to other countries well or not~ · 399 days ago