Talent to take on seven rivals at the Curragh

British filly to start as favourite in Irish Oaks this weekend

Jockey Richard Hughes rides Talent to victory in The Oaks at  Epsom

Jockey Richard Hughes rides Talent to victory in The Oaks at Epsom

 

Epsom Oaks heroine Talent will face seven opponents as she aims to complete a Classic double in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday evening.

Ralph Beckett’s filly was a surprise victor when annihilating her opponents at Epsom at the end of May, with her better fancied stable companion Secret Gesture filling the runner-up spot.

The pair looked set to do battle once again earlier this week, but Secret Gesture was ruled out of a trip to Ireland after suffering a setback on Wednesday.

Talent is part of a formidable two-pronged British attack, with Lady Cecil’s hugely impressive Ribblesdale Stakes heroine Riposte also making the journey having been supplemented at the start of this week.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled three previous winners of the Irish Oaks and this year he sends the exciting Venus De Milo, as well as Just Pretending and Magical Dream.

The field is completed by Tommy Stack’s Alive Alive Oh, the Jim Bolger-trained Scintillula and Alain de Royer-Dupre’s French raider Chicquita.

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