Perfect Clarity in Classic frame after battling triumph
FLATTERING was pushed back into third place as Perfect Clarity entered the Classic picture with a game victory in the Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes Lingfield. The former failed to continue trainer Aidan O’Brien’s fine run in the significant three-year-old races just a week after her convincing win at Cork.
Both her rider Ryan Moore and Adam Kirby, aboard Perfect Clarity, lost their whips in the closing stages when they put their mounts under pressure.
Casima made most of the running to three furlongs out but she was overtaken by Flattering, though her lead did not last long. Perfect Clarity (5-1), trained by Clive Cox, showed a willing attitude to ward off Cecchini to land the spoils by a length and a quarter.
Cox said: “She’s only had one start previous. She was always very nice.
“We’ve just brought her along quietly and everything’s been good. With maturity, I think she could be very special. She’s an exciting filly.
“I think we’ ll be Epsom-bound now. “Perfect Clarity was cut to around the at 20-1 mark about winning
Oaks at Epsom on June 1.
Kirby said: “I thought this would be up her street, a good stepping-stone. Hopefully she’ll come forward again.
“She’s got speed, a turn of foot and is well balanced. She gets the trip no problem. I think she’s got the class to go to Epsom.”
Cox added: “We were pleased to use this as a starting point. Hopefully she has given us enough confidence to go forward to Epsom.
“She is quite chilled at home but she is quite busy and she is very strong. We’ve just had to take it a step at a time and thankfully we’ve a nice filly to go forwards with.”
Ralph Beckett was pleased with the performance of runner-up Cecchini and has not ruled out a crack at the Oaks.
He said: “We will make a decision nearer the time (regarding Epsom) but I would be encouraged.
“It was her first time on the turf. She got pushed wide on the straight and was slightly racing on her own. But I would be encouraged rather than discouraged.”
Meanwhile, Knight To Behold benefit- the Investec ed from an enterprising ride by Richard Kingscote to win the Betfred Derby Trial at Lingfield.
Kingscote took Harry Dunlop’s colt to the front once the field had settled down and got an uncontested lead.
Knight To Behold was at least six lengths clear entering the straight and, hard as though Ryan Moore tried to close the gap on the well-backed 8-11 favourite Kew Gardens, the 7-1 shot was still three and a quarter lengths clear at the line.
Corelli was seven lengths back in third place.
Kingscote said: “He’s a proper horse. He showed a nice attitude.
“I was very pleased. I think he’ll learn plenty coming round that turn.”
Knight To Behold is now available at odds of around 16-1 about winning the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 2.
Dunlop said: “My horse has improved quite a lot and we were just thrilled with the way he had done physically.
“He was a horse that was always going to improve and we’ve loved him from day one. He is a wonderful mover.”
The Lambourn handler added: think, and hope, he’ll go to Epsom. “I
“I was there when Erhaab won for dad (John Dunlop) and I was only two when Shirley Heights won. Seeing Ed (Dunlop, brother) win the Oaks with Ouija Board it is just an incredible place. It is amazing and I’ve got to pinch myself.”
Third-placed Corelli is unlikely to go to Epsom, with his trainer John Gosden looking further ahead to the St Leger.
“We will just take our time with him as I see him more as a Leger type,” he said. “I will just wait for something like the Bahrain Trophy at the July Festival.
“Frankie (Dettori) said he still feels a little bit weak. He is a tall horse and has not yet filled out.”
At Ascot, Hayley Turner gained her biggest victory since coming out of retirement with a power-packed ride on Ripp Orf in the Victoria Cup.
Turner brought the David Elsworth-trained gelding to snatch victory close home.
Turner had to starve herself to do the required 8st 1lb on the bottom weight and it paid off as Ripp Orf (20-1) defeated the top weight Zhui Feng (28-1) by a neck.
Perfect Clarity, ridden by Adam Kirby, wins the Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes