Beckett after Irish Oaks history


Trainer Ralph Beckett is quietly confident he can make more history this week as he sends Manuela De Vega and Antonia De Vega to the Curragh for the Group 1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks (Manuela De Vega 9/1 – To win).

Beckett landed a one-two finish in the Oaks at Epsom back in 2013 and he believes he has a chance of doing the same in another Classic contest.

There is little to split Manuela De Vega and Antonia De Vega (12/1 – To win) in the betting, but it is the former that carries the stronger form into this weekend’s race.

The three-year-old finished second in the Cheshire Oaks before coming fourth in the Oaks at Epsom. Antonia De Vega won a Group Three race earlier in his career and made a big statement when winning a Listed race at Newbury last month.

When asked about the pair, Beckett told reporters: “There are similarities and we’ll see what happens. It’s a tough call and Harry Bentley has got to decide which one he rides. It’s a difficult one – my record of choosing the right one in an Oaks is not good and I don’t know.

“Manuela De Vega had a small blip but I’ve been happy with her in the last fortnight and she worked well on Monday morning. For a filly who has had only four starts, you’d be hopeful she’d be able to take another step forward.

“Manuela De Vega is effectively there or thereabouts. I was pretty certain straight after Epsom that we’d go straight to Ireland – I wasn’t really tempted by the Ribblesdale and that’s a pretty good indication. Antonia De Vega looks like she’s on her way up.”

Iridessa currently leads the betting at 5/2, while Pink Dogwood remains the closest rival at odds of 11/4.

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