Chicquita claims Oaks for France‏

July 20, 2013 02:32pm
Chicquita 615 X 400


Alain de Royer-Dupre regained the Irish Oaks after eight years of absence as the talented, yet somewhat wayward, Chicquita was strong in victory in the Irish mile-and-a-half Classic.

Having won this event with the highly talented Shawanda in 2005, Royer-Dupre had returned to Irish shores confident that his filly would throw down her very best effort thus far, with the Curragh perfectly suiting her long action, and in booking the in-form Johnny Murtagh it was clear that Royer-Dupre had left no stone unturned in his quest for victory. With good preparation, rewards are gained and Royer-Dupre did not return from Ireland disappointed. 

A three year old daughter of Montjeu with just three starts to her name prior to this Group 1 contest, Chicquita was last seen finishing four lengths behind the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe-bound Treve in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly. Drifting markedly to her left that day inside the closing stages, that trait was again in force as the filly drifted towards the near side rail inside the final furlong as she threw down her finishing effort under the in-form Johnny Murtagh.

"Although she had never won before this, I knew she was a top class filly," said winning trainer, Royer-Dupre. "We have to be careful with her on the racetrack. I don't want to put blinkers on her, I don't want to change anything, but I hope she will learn more."

As is customary with the progeny of Montjeu, a quirk in the ability of Chicquita seems evident, with the filly having ploughed through a hedge in her seasonal reappearance when set for a clear cut victory. However, for all the quirks of Chicquita seem to struggle to keep her straight and true, there is no doubting the ability of this three year old filly.

In 2005, Royer-Dupre opted to take a route aimed at acquiring Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe with his five length Irish Oaks heroine, Shawanda. A glorious winner of the Prix Vermeille that year, she was to finish sixth in that year's end of season contest. Whether Chicquita is to target a late season campaign with a similar target is unknown, but a four length deficit must be turned around with Treve in the Prix Vermeille even before dreams can be dreamed in that area.

A respectable second placed finish graced Venus de Milo who continues to improve with each and every run. A debutant at this level, Venus de Milo once again continued to find under pressure from Seamus Heffernan and looks an exciting prospect for Aidan O' Brien to look forward to towards the end of the year. Races such as the Yorkshire Oaks look set to be firmly placed on the radar for this progressive daughter of Duke of Marmalade. 

Just Pretending, whom set a strong early pace under Joseph O' Brien, held on for third with Lady Jane Cecil's Riposte finishing a close fourth outside of the places.

Talent, the winner of the Epsom Oaks, was alongside the second-placed finisher Venus de Milo as the field angled into the final few furlongs. However, with her Ballydoyle rival travelling notably well off the generous pace, Talent seemed to be lacking a finishing kick of any real substance and eventually finished last of the seven.

Alive Alive Oh was again a non-runner in this Group 1 contest. 



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Older Comments about Chicquita claims Oaks for France‏...

From maiden to Irish Oaks winner in the time that it took her run that diagonal last eighth of a mile.

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