Ralph Beckett is one of only three trainers to win the Oaks more than once this century and, as the other two are legendary trainers Aidan O’Brien and Henry Cecil, he has every right to hold his head up high. Therefore, on the eve of the 2017 Oaks, we thought we’d take a look at what the Kimpton Down Trainer has to look forward to for the rest of the season.
Beckett will be doing a rain dance before the Friday of this year’s Derby Meeting, as Air Pilot loves plenty of cut in the ground, as he demonstrated by beating Success Days and US Army Ranger last time out. If he gets it, he could give more fancied rivals something to think about in the Coronation Cup.
Best judged on his second to Muntahaa in the John Porter Stakes, as he didn’t like the soft ground or the first-time visor next time. Looks capable of winning a Group 3 at some point this season over 12-furlongs, but may take in Royal Ascot first.
Enjoyed a hat-trick of wins as a 3-year-old, and the handicapper looked to have taken her measure until she was impressive in beating the high-class handicapper Firmament by two-lengths at York last time. Expected to step-up again by trainer now she’s found her form.
Looked to have no chance from a wide-draw in this season’s Chester Cup, but belied his odds by running fifth. Set to head for the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot, and could go very well granted a better draw.
SHE IS NO LADY
Ran as well as could be expected when third behind the well-weighted Big Orange in a Group 2 at Sandown, and she’s expected to add to her 4 wins when she gets her ideal conditions of 2 miles with plenty of cut in the ground.
Interesting contender for the Ascot Gold Cup though, if she proves to be a non-stayer there, she will be of greater interest returned to 14-furlongs, a trip over which she has excelled so far in her career.
HERE AND NOW
Won at Chester’s May Festival, and Royal Ascot is now very much on the agenda, with the King George V Handicap the target.
ISABEL DE URBINA
Has 18lb to find with the best of the fillies in the Oaks, but set to take her chance with her trainer very hopeful that the Pretty Polly Stakes runner-up will improve for the step-up to 12-furlongs.