Wednesday 21 March 2018

Irish Oaks rematch on the cards for Beckett pair

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Saturday week's Darley Irish Oaks could emulate last month's Irish Derby by featuring a mouth-watering rematch between the first three home in its Epsom equivalent.

Ralph Beckett, who saddled Talent and Secret Gesture to a memorable one-two at Epsom, confirmed yesterday that the Curragh Classic is being considered for both of his fillies. "Talent will attempt to follow up her Epsom success and Secret Gesture is under serious consideration to join her in the Curragh race," he reported.

Michael Bell's Epsom third The Lark is not among the 32 current entries, but connections are believed to be considering supplementing her for the 12-furlong Group One at a cost of €40,000.

The Khalid Abdullah-owned Riposte, such a stylish winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot for Henry Cecil's widow Jane, is also expected to be supplemented, while Michael Stoute's Epsom fifth Liber Nauticus could also travel.

Moth, clear of Liber Nauticus in fourth at Epsom, is one of seven that Aidan O'Brien has to choose from, including the Ribblesdale runner-up Just Pretending.

However, there would be no more fascinating local runner that Alive Alive Oh, the precocious Tommy Stack-trained filly that missed out on the Ribblesdale due to fast ground.

Alain de Royer-Dupre's Chicquita, runner-up in the Prix de Diane – French Oaks – last month, is also expected to feature, while Jim Bolger has nominated Scintillula as the pick of his four entries, though Roscommon Listed scorer Bunairgead could yet be supplemented.

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