Talent, a 20-1 outsider, wins the Oaks at Epsom

Talent beat a strong field to win the Oaks at Epsom ahead of stablemate Secret Gesture.

Story highlights

  • Talent, not expected to win, makes a move in the home straight to claim the Oaks
  • For jockey Richard Hughes, it marks his second win in an English Classic in two months
  • Secret Gesture finishes second, ahead of The Lark and pre-race favorite Moth
Talent, a 20-1 outsider, dominated rivals to capture the Oaks, the premier fillies' Classic of the season.
The Ralph Beckett-trained filly made a brilliant last-to-first move in the home straight at Epsom under jockey Richard Hughes to lead home a talented field including stablemate Secret Gesture in second and The Lark in third.
All the attention pre-race had been on Beckett's other runner, the Qatar Bloodstock-owned Secret Gesture.
Qatar's Sheikh Fahad decided to buy a half-share in the filly just this week after her impressive 10-length victory in the Lingfield Oaks trial.
The endorsement of one of the most competitive owners in the business helped propel her to early favorite in the markets, leaving Talent relatively unexposed.
But the chestnut daughter of New Approach showed her true colors as she swept past her rivals to claim victory by 3¾ lengths. The Lark was a further ¾ length behind in third, with favorite Moth in fourth.
After a somewhat fractious start in which several of the fillies appeared to become unsettled by the atmosphere on course, an early break-neck pace was set by David Simcock's Miss You Too, who appeared to taking a keen hold with jockey Ian Mongan.
By contrast, Hughes was content to settle Talent towards the back of the field, choosing to make his move after rounding the famous Tattenham Corner and gradually moving up through the field before letting Talent hit her stride inside the final furlong.
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At the start of the season, veteran jockey Hughes had yet to capture an English Classic. He is now two for two in the fillies' Classics, having won the 1,000 Guineas on Sky Lantern last month.
"It's like buses isn't it?" Hughes said. "I thought that I would win five furlongs out, she was going that well. I would say that she would be even better on better ground."
Beckett added: "I wasn't watching her until she suddenly loomed up on the outside. He just put her in the race and she got keen and started tanking then.
"What a day. Having the first two doesn't happen, does it?"
The Oaks is English racing's premier fillies' race and was first run in 1779, making it one year older than the Derby itself. It gives its name to, among other races, the Kentucky Oaks.