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Beckett saddles first and second in the Investec Oaks

31 May 2013

Trainer Ralph Beckett, who had never registered a placed horse in a QIPCO British Champions Series race before, saddled the one-two in the Investec Oaks at Epsom this afternoon.

Richard Hughes celebrates his second British Classic as Talent returns after her Investec Oaks triumph. Image courtesy of

Ralph Beckett saddled two runners in this afternoon’s Investec oaks, race two in the Fillies & Mares division of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and they duly came first and second although not in the order that many would have predicted.

Secret Gesture had been favourite for the race since her Lingfield Oaks Trial victory, but it was his 20-1 shot, Talent, who stormed to victory under a great ride from Richard Hughes.

Secret Gesture, who looked sure to win when she struck the front two furlongs out, had to settle for second once Talent scythed through the field to hit the front inside the final furlong and win by a very impressive 3 3/4 lengths.

The Lark finished 3/4 length back in third, with the heavily backed favourite, Moth, a head back in fourth.

For Richard Hughes it seems to be a case of opening the floodgates.

He had never won a British Classic until Sky Lantern won the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at the beginning of the month. In the very next Classic, he wins again!

What are the chances that his mount in tomorrow’s Investec Derby, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mars, can pull off a quick-fire Classic hat-trick for the Champion Jockey?

"It doesn’t happen does it!" said the victorious trainer reflecting on his one-two in a race he won in 2008 with Look Here.

"She is tough," he said of the winner.

"I wasn’t watching her until she she loomed up on the outside. He (Hughes) put her in the race and she started tanking then."