Wednesday 16 October 2019

Skitter Scatter on the mend, but Oxx rules out Royal Ascot trip

Trainer John Oxx. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer John Oxx. Photo: Sportsfile

John Oxx is hoping to aim his 1,000 Guineas flop Skitter Scatter at Leopardstown's big meeting in September after ruling her out of Royal Ascot.

The daughter of Scat Daddy won her final three starts as a juvenile last season - completing her hat-trick with a top-level triumph in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

With trainer Patrick Prendergast deciding to relinquish his licence during the off-season to join forces with Oxx, she made her debut for the Currabeg maestro in last month's Classic at Newmarket - only to trail home 14th of the 15 runners.

It subsequently transpired Skitter Scatter had torn a muscle during the Rowley Mile Classic, and Oxx is in no rush to commit to targets.

He said: "She's making gradual progress. She's been confined to walking exercise for a month and we're coming to the end of that now, so we'll see how we go from here.

"We think it (torn muscle) happened about three furlongs out, and she just went backwards then. It's disappointing, but these things happen.

"These things take time and we'll have to be patient. She will recover and hopefully it will be soon enough, but we haven't set any deadline for her to run. The Matron Stakes is a Group One target we have in mind for her, but how we get there - whether we can get one or two runs into her beforehand - we'll just have to see how she progresses."

Ralph Beckett is also likely to give Ascot a miss with his talented filly Manuela De Vega, but is "very keen" to run her in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks following her creditable effort at Epsom last Friday.

Runner-up to Mehdaayih in last month's Cheshire Oaks, Beckett's filly turned the tables on John Gosden's filly in the Oaks at Epsom, but had to make do with minor honours in fourth behind another Gosden inmate in Anapurna.

Connections of the winner have already stated she is unlikely to run in the Irish equivalent, but Beckett is keen to target Manuela De Vega at next month's Curragh Classic, with the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot an outside possibility.

"The trouble with running in the Ribblesdale is unless you win, it's a terrible decision. That's the problem there," said Beckett. "We'll see how we're fixed, but I'd be very keen to go for the Irish Oaks whatever happens."

Irish Independent

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