/ Racing

Talent steals the show in Epsom for Ralph Beckett and Richard Hughes

Updated: Friday, 31 May 2013 23:14 | Comments

Talent & Richard Hughes pull clear to win the fillies' Classic
Talent & Richard Hughes pull clear to win the fillies' Classic

Talent led home a one-two for trainer Ralph Beckett in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Partnered by Richard Hughes, the winner was sent off a 20-1 shot, with better-fancied stablemate Secret Gesture a 3-1 chance.

Talent proved those odds to be all wrong as she came with a wet sail to win by three and three-quarter lengths, with The Lark back in third and 5-2 favourite Moth, trained by Aidan O'Brien, fourth.  

Talent appeared to break a touch slowly for Hughes and was towards the back of the field throughout the early stages.

Miss You Too and Say set the early gallop with Secret Gesture seemingly better placed on the rails, with Jim Crowley kicking for home two furlongs out aboard Talent's stablemate.

However, Hughes was just starting to hit top gear on Talent, who looked a little uncomfortable on the course, and switched wide to launch her challenge down the middle of the track.

She poked her head in front inside the distance and galloped away for an impressive success.

"I rode her work during the week and, to be honest, I wasn't impressed" - Richard Hughes' negative view of the winner a few days ago

Secret Gesture kept on to repel The Lark by three-quarters of a length, while Moth did not have the necessary extra gear in the finish.

Hughes finally broke his domestic Classic duck aboard Sky Lantern in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month and did not wait long to hit the mark again.

Hughes said: "It's like buses, isn't it?

"I rode her work during the week and, to be honest, I wasn't impressed. I came home and said she's skinnier than me.

"Tom Queally (on Madame Defarge) was extremely good to me coming down the hill as I edged him out.

"I just said to him turning for home, 'Can you believe how well I'm going?'.

"I'd say on better ground she'll be better."

Beckett was saddling his second Oaks winner following the triumph of Look Here in 2008.

He said: "Richard came to ride her work and I knew by the look on his face he thought, 'I don't fancy this much'.

"I wasn't watching her until she loomed up on the outside - she's very tough.

"What a day."

Michael Bell, trainer of The Lark, said: "She's been very lightly raced but we knew she would come into her own over this distance.

"We're just delighted, she's run like we hoped she would.

"She ran very well."

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