/ Racing

Ralph Beckett reveals riding plans for Oaks duo Secret Gesture and Talent

Updated: Thursday, 23 May 2013 19:29 | Comments

Ralph Beckett won the Oaks in 2008 with Look Here
Ralph Beckett won the Oaks in 2008 with Look Here

Ralph Beckett has firmed up the riding arrangements for his Investec Oaks contenders, with Jim Crowley sticking with Secret Gesture and Richard Hughes coming in for the mount on Talent.

Secret Gesture is favourite for the fillies' Classic after treating her rivals with disdain in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She has been ridden by Crowley in all three of her races.

Talent lived up to her name by winning the Pretty Polly Stakes on Guineas weekend at Newmarket, a race Ouija Board won on her way to the top.

"Jim will ride Secret Gesture and he will come and sit on her in the morning. Richard Hughes will come in and have a sit on Talent, and he'll ride her as well," said Beckett, who won the Oaks with Look Here in 2008.

"I've not done a lot with Secret Gesture since Lingfield, but we'll do a piece with her on the grass. Talent has done very well since the Pretty Polly, I'm pleased with her."

Hughie Morrison's unbeaten filly Banoffee will be supplemented for the Classic.

The daughter of Hurricane Run was unraced as a juvenile but made a pleasing introduction at Newbury in April, winning a maiden which subsequent Oaks scorers Eswarah and Dancing Rain used as a springboard to success.

Stepped up in class for the Cheshire Oaks at Chester, she showed a telling turn of foot in the straight to cut down her opponents and win going away under Kieren Fallon.

The six-times champion jockey is keen to maintain the partnership as Banoffee attempts to emulate Henry Cecil's Light Shift, who was the last filly to take the Chester event before going on the Epsom glory.

"All being well, if the wheels stay on between now and Saturday, she will be supplemented," said Morrison.

"She only ran two weeks ago and I don't want to over-work her, she proved how good she was at Chester.

"I think Kieren is available - he's very keen to ride - and I will be confirming it as planned."

Of Aidan O'Brien's three remaining fillies engaged, he confirmed that two, Guineas third Moth and nine-length Cork maiden winner Say would run.

"Snow Queen is going for the Irish Guineas," said O'Brien.

"The other two (Moth and Say) haven't done a lot of work, they don't need it, but are both in good shape and are going for the Oaks."

Michael Bell, who won the race with Sariska, could run The Lark in the same silks, along with Madame Defarge. Both had a gentle spin around Epsom this morning.

"The Lark has come on a lot since Newbury and is bred to be here. I will have to speak to Lady Bamford, but I'd like to give the Oaks a go. It's the first time Jamie Spencer has ridden her, but I'd like to roll the dice," said Bell.

"Madame Defarge is a lovely filly with bags of scope. She will relish the trip and relish good ground. Tom Queally rode her today and he's very much available."

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