Oaks win rewards Beckett's patience

Dozens of horses win maiden races every season with an air of infinite promise; and there are many young trainers, equally, whose early results suggest they might conceivably be the next big thing. But few who happened to go racing at Salisbury last October will have grasped quite what they had witnessed when Look Here beat Doctor Fremantle.

Most will have been tempted to give up on Doctor Fremantle, who had started 1-3 favourite, but will at least have acknowledged Look Here as further testimony to the emerging talent of her trainer, Ralph Beckett. In the meantime, of course, Doctor Fremantle has reiterated his ability to the extent that he is a leading candidate for the Vodafone Derby today; while Look Here's part in his fall and rise had been all but forgotten when she turned up for the fillies' version here yesterday.

Having finished second in the Lingfield trial on her only start since, Look Here was sent off 33-1 for the Juddmonte Oaks. But the Hernando filly – by the same sire as the Derby favourite, Casual Conquest – won decisively under Seb Sanders, and absolutely on merit. In the process she delivered the second heart-warming breakthrough of a week that began with the Prix du Jockey-Club success of Eric Libaud and Ioritz Mendizabal.

There are many parallels between the two partnerships. Like Libaud, Beckett has steadily been making a name for himself as a modest young man with skills worth broadcasting. And, like Mendizabal, Sanders has been the slowest of burners as a champion jockey, finally crowning years of prolific endeavour with a share of the title last season.

This was Sanders's first British Classic, and it says a good deal about him that he was able to ride here only after his employer, Sir Mark Prescott, excused him from duties at Wolverhampton. As it was, he could not tarry to share the celebrations, instead scurrying off to ride at Doncaster, albeit not before a characteristic admission. "I made a hash of things at Lingfield," he said. "But it was a trial and I found out a lot about her because of that mistake. Deep down I thought she would run a massive race."

Beckett was dazed, all the same. "When all is said and done, we could go skint now and it wouldn't matter," he said. "She worked diabolically last week, absolutely shockingly, and I said we would have to work her again because we can't go to Epsom off the back of this."

Look Here settled nicely in midfield and made smooth progress on the outside coming down the hill, so smooth that she hit the front two furlongs out and never looked like being caught. Sanders drove her out to win by just under four lengths from Moonstone, who came from a long way back and duly proved best of the six Ballydoyle fillies – much as had been suggested before her disappointing run at York last month. In contrast Lush Lashes, the easy winner there, did not seem to get the extra distance in fifth.

Katiyra excelled in third, though her inexperience proved costly, much as John Oxx had feared. "She was impeded a little bit coming down the hill," the trainer said. "She got caught in traffic, stumbled and lost her hind legs, but ran on very well in the straight." Clowance never landed a blow in fourth, while John Gosden reckoned that the well-backed Michita "absolutely hated the track" before keeping on for seventh.

Beckett was reluctant to commit the winner to the Irish Oaks, suspecting that she may need more time, though he has unfinished business at the Curragh. Three years ago he saddled Penkenna Princess to be beaten in a photo for the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and he has "not had two days go by" since without feeling the pain anew. "But I've never had a horse that I knew could win a Classic," he said. "I didn't know what it takes. So at no time was I ever confident about this filly. But I thought we'd run a race."

Look Here's owner-breeder, Julian Richmond-Watson, was formerly chairman of the race committee here, and has just five mares on his Northamptonshire stud. "You know you're pitching at windmills when you take on the big battalions," he said. "But you dream."

The best of the big battalions had earlier ensured business as usual in the Juddmonte Coronation Cup, Soldier Of Fortune having the race expertly set up by the combined efforts of two stablemates. As the icing on the cake, Johnny Murtagh was able to keep the struggling French favourite, Getaway, pinned on the rail as he came through – albeit he ended up hampering Macarthur, collared for second by Youmzain.

Aidan O'Brien believes that Soldier Of Fortune has flourished since last year, when his nine-length romp in the Irish Derby towered above anything else he achieved, and it seems safe to assume that the Arc will dominate his agenda.

Jim Bolger trousered the breeder's prize, by the way, and so will not leave British soil empty-handed – regardless of how New Approach gets on today.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?