Punters go for Riposte as eight declared for Irish Oaks
Riposte’s victory in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot was greeted with almost as much joy as Estimate’s win in the Gold Cup for Her Majesty The Queen. The reason was the huge amount of respect for the late Sir Henry Cecil who passed away just a week earlier.
Sir Henry had been instrumental in plotting the career of the daughter of Dansili who won her maiden at Newmarket in May before being given her chance in Group company. She won decisively at Ascot despite missing the break and eventually had two and a quarter lengths to spare over Just Pretending.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly had previously finished third in the Irish 1000 Guineas and reopposes on Saturday. She is joined by the rapidly improving Venus de Milo and Magical Dream from the powerful Ballydoyle stable.
Venus de Milo created a big impression when galloping on strongly to win at Naas last time out whilst Magical Dream was just touched off in a Group 3 at Cork. Seamie Heffernan will take the ride on Venus de Milo with Joseph O’Brien on Just Pretending and Michael Hussey on Magical Dream.
Ralph Beckett’s Epsom Oaks winner Talent beat her stable companion Secret Gesture by three and three-quarter lengths. Secret Gesture misses the race on Saturday due to a minor knock but may be re-routed to Goodwood.
Tommy Stack’s Alive Alive Oh has been declared but connections have expressed concerns over the fast ground. She has won her last two races in good style and will be a big threat if lining up.
Jim Bolger runs Scintillula and Alain de Royer-Dupre’s French Oaks runner-up Chicquita completes the eight-runner field. The latter veered across the course that day but still ran on strongly to the line.
Chicquita remains a maiden having thrown away a winning opportunity on her previous start when clipping a hedge and falling. Johnny Murtagh has been booked for the ride and will need all of his experience to coax the best out of her.