Outsider Talent Tops Stablemate in Epsom Oaks

New Approach filly wins at Epsom at 20-1 odds over her highly regarded stablemate.

Trainer Ralph Beckett enjoyed a one-two finish in the Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) May 31 when his lightly regarded Talent closed furiously from near last to deny stablemate Secret Gesture in a 20-1 upset.

The New Approach filly was still well back as the field entered the straight but had a willing answer when jockey Richard Hughes asked. With powerful acceleration on the outside, she caught 3-1 second favorite Secret Gesture inside the final furlong and shook clear to score by 3 3/4 lengths.

Secret Gesture, winner of the Oaks Trial at Lingfield May 11, appeared en route to victory after taking the lead in the straight, but she could not hold back the relentless charge of her stablemate and settled for second.

The Lark finished third, three-quarters behind Secret Gesture, while 5-2 favorite Moth, who entered off a third in the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), was fourth in the 11-horse field.

Talent was timed in 2:42 for 2,420 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) and earned a third straight win. Her victory gives Beckett a second Oaks triumph following Look Here in 2008.

In her season bow May 5 at Newmarket, Talent won the 1 1/4-mile Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes, an Oaks trial that produced Ouija Board as the Oaks winner in 2004.

Talent closed last season with a win going seven furlongs on the all-weather track at Kempton in September after finishing third in her career debut last August at Newbury.

The filly is from the first crop of Darley sire New Approach and is his second classic winner, joining QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner Dawn Approach, the favorite for the Epsom Derby (Eng-I) June 1. New Approach, an 8-year-old son of Galileo, stands at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.

Talent was bred by co-owner James Roswell's Ashbrittle Stud and partner Mark Dixon. Her dam, the Peintre Celebre mare Prowess, finished third in the 2006 Cheshire Oaks and ninth in the Epsom Oaks. Her second dam is stakes winner Yawl, whose dam is 1980 Epsom Oaks winner Bireme. Talent is one of two winners from as many starters out of Prowess, who also produced stakes-placed Skilful.