Talent (right): the British Oaks winner bids to follow up in IrelandPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Talent the one to beat in Irish Oaks - Beckett
INVESTEC OAKS winner Talent sets the standard in Saturday's Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh, her trainer Ralph Beckett said on the eve of the race.
The New Approach filly was a surprise 20-1 winner at Epsom, where she comfortably accounted for her ten rivals in an authoriative three and three-quarter length victory, and is 5-2 to repeat the feat at the Curragh.
Beckett said: "She is the one to beat. The Oaks form hasn't been franked so far but it's still early days and the first two haven't run. I am happy with her. She looks terrific and is not ground dependent."
Beckett said he was confident his filly would cope well with her first trip to the Curragh.
"I think the race will be more evenly run and that will suit her. She's won at Newmarket, Kempton and Epsom and you couldn't get three more contrasting places so I don't think she is track dependent," he said.
Talent's main challenge looks to come from the Lady Cecil-trained Riposte, winner of the Ribblesdale, and Aidan O'Brien fields three fillies as he seeks his first Irish Oaks since 2008.
Venus de Milo is the shortest of the trio after her Listed win at Naas last month prompted connections to supplement her at a cost of €40,000.
"This will be a big step up for Venus de Milo but she seems to be progressive and we thought after her Naas win that she deserved to take her chance. That's why she was supplemented," said O'Brien.