- Epsom Downs
Talent shows plenty to win The Oaks
Talent stormed from the back of the field to win the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs, giving trainer Ralph Beckett a one-two when finishing ahead of stablemate Secret Gesture.
Winning jockey Richard Hughes claimed his second successive classic on board the three-year-old 20/1 shot, following his 1,000 Guineas win on board Sky Lantern earlier in May, while Beckett clains his second Oaks victory after seeing Look Here win in 2008.
The Lark, who went off at 16/1, finished third for Michael Bell under the mount of Jamie Spencer, with Aidan O'Brien's Moth, the well-backed favourite, crossing the line fourth under the stewardship of his son Joseph.
Miss You Too set the early pace from the off under Iain Mongan, with Say tucked behind in second. With the order staying unchanged through the middle stage of the one mile four furlongs and 10 yard race, it was the well-backed Liber Nauticus and Secret Garden who took up the lead coming down the final straight.
However, Hughes soon let the reins loose on Talent, who surged from the back and found the gap on the far side before challenging Secret Garden in the closing stages. Spencer found nothing more in the final furlong, leaving Hughes to ride out his second classic victory in a month.
After waiting 25 years to win a classic, Hughes was understandably delighted if a little surprised to see the filly cross the line first.
"It's like buses, isn't it?" Hughes said. "I rode her work during the week and, to be honest, I wasn't impressed. I came home and said she's skinnier than me.
"Tom Queally (on Madame Defarge) was extremely good to me coming down the hill as I edged him out. I just said to him turning for home, 'Can you believe how well I'm going?'. I'd say on better ground she'll be better."
Earlier on Friday, Frankie Dettori failed to make a fairytale return in his first race since completing his drugs ban as favourite Thistle Bird cruised to take the opening race of the day in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. James Doyle timed his assault to the line perfectly, gaining victory for Derby-winning trainer Roger Charlton ahead of Gifted Girl in second while Lady's First held on for third. Dettori's mount Beatrice Aurore was last to finish.
"It's nice to be back, and good to get the first one out of the way," Dettori said. "I was very nervous coming down and then I got stuck in traffic, so it was panic stations and I ran the last three furlongs down the track to get here on time.
"I got a good welcome back. As soon as I got on the horse it was back to business and like I had never been away."
Resurge made it a namesake victory in the Investec Wealth and Investment Handicap, surging clear of Area Fifty One to give jockey Neil Callan and trainer Stuart Kittow first prize in the Group Two race. Tres Coronas finished third under Graham Gibbons, while Dettori had to settle for fifth on the Marco Botti-trained Fattsota.
Joint favourite Gregorian, trained by John Gosden, stormed to victory in the Diomed Stakes under William Buick. Pentinent edged Gabrila by a head at the post, with the unsettled Producer fading to fourth under leading flat jockey Richard Hughes. Dettori, who replaced the already-victorious Callan on mount Sri Putra, once again had to settle for last as his return continued to prove a damp squib.
Vainglory ran out 12/1 winner in the Investec Mile for trainer David Simcock, finishing half a length clear of Lord of the Shadows, ridden by Joe Fanning. Ocean Tempest took third, while Levitate stole fourth on the nose.
Well Acquainted got up for Ryan Moore and Clive Cox in the Surrey Stakes, ahead of Emell under Oaks winning jockey Hughes, while Hasopop pulled clear in third for Marco Botti.
A dramatic finish in the final race of the day capped Friday afternoon in Surrey, as Heaven's Guest fended off a late challenge from Intrigo to claim the Asset Management Handicap for Richard Fahey. You Da One finished third under Hayley Turner.