Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Talent, a 20-1 outsider, wins the Oaks at Epsom

By Alysen Miller, CNN
updated 7:11 PM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
Talent beat a strong field to win the Oaks at Epsom ahead of stablemate Secret Gesture.
Talent beat a strong field to win the Oaks at Epsom ahead of stablemate Secret Gesture.
  • Talent, not expected to win, makes a move in the home straight to claim the Oaks
  • For jockey Richard Hughes, it marks his second win in an English Classic in two months
  • Secret Gesture finishes second, ahead of The Lark and pre-race favorite Moth

(CNN) -- Talent, a 20-1 outsider, dominated rivals to capture the Oaks, the premier fillies' Classic of the season.

The Ralph Beckett-trained filly made a brilliant last-to-first move in the home straight at Epsom under jockey Richard Hughes to lead home a talented field including stablemate Secret Gesture in second and The Lark in third.

All the attention pre-race had been on Beckett's other runner, the Qatar Bloodstock-owned Secret Gesture.

Qatar's Sheikh Fahad decided to buy a half-share in the filly just this week after her impressive 10-length victory in the Lingfield Oaks trial.

The endorsement of one of the most competitive owners in the business helped propel her to early favorite in the markets, leaving Talent relatively unexposed.

Read: Dettori cleared to return

But the chestnut daughter of New Approach showed her true colors as she swept past her rivals to claim victory by 3¾ lengths. The Lark was a further ¾ length behind in third, with favorite Moth in fourth.

After a somewhat fractious start in which several of the fillies appeared to become unsettled by the atmosphere on course, an early break-neck pace was set by David Simcock's Miss You Too, who appeared to taking a keen hold with jockey Ian Mongan.

Horse farm hit by tornado
Gary Stevens' successful Derby return?
How does it feel to race on dirt?

By contrast, Hughes was content to settle Talent towards the back of the field, choosing to make his move after rounding the famous Tattenham Corner and gradually moving up through the field before letting Talent hit her stride inside the final furlong.

At the start of the season, veteran jockey Hughes had yet to capture an English Classic. He is now two for two in the fillies' Classics, having won the 1,000 Guineas on Sky Lantern last month.

Read: Orb wins Kentucky Derby

"It's like buses isn't it?" Hughes said. "I thought that I would win five furlongs out, she was going that well. I would say that she would be even better on better ground."

Beckett added: "I wasn't watching her until she suddenly loomed up on the outside. He just put her in the race and she got keen and started tanking then.

"What a day. Having the first two doesn't happen, does it?"

The Oaks is English racing's premier fillies' race and was first run in 1779, making it one year older than the Derby itself. It gives its name to, among other races, the Kentucky Oaks.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:41 AM EST, Fri December 12, 2014
Sculptures in driftwood
You may have heard of Glorious Goodwood, but what about glorious driftwood? Meet the artist turning beach detritus into stunning sculptures.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
He's won six Olympic medals on two legs, but Bode Miller's future will ride on four -- can he replicate his skiing success in the "Sport of Kings"?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
As a jockey, Philip Blacker lived for the thrills and spills of horse racing. As a sculptor, his work captures the horror of World War I.
updated 11:12 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Ever thought zebras couldn't be tamed? Think again. Gary Witheford has a remarkable way with wild animals -- which he proved after a pub boast.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
The internet went wild for so-called "horse yoga" -- but there was something deeper going on that reconnects humans with the animal world.
updated 9:23 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
The going is always soft and the only permanent building is a toilet block. It's the antithesis to the pomp of Royal Ascot ... welcome to Irish beach racing.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Show me the money! Hollywood star Tom Cruise was a big hit when he visited the Glorious Goodwood festival.
updated 8:41 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
updated 9:25 AM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
Winning Post's Francesca Cumani is impressed by the all-round multitasking skills of Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.
updated 4:53 AM EDT, Sat June 7, 2014
 An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.
More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.
updated 7:37 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
A long history of controversy made him the "enfant terrible" of horse racing, but veteran jockey Kieren Fallon is looking for redemption.