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?
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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions