Secret Satire stakes Oaks claim at York

Secret Satire boosted her Classic aspirations with an impressive victory in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.

The Andrew Balding-trained filly was sent off a 22-1 shot and raced prominently on the far side of the course in the hands of Oisin Murphy.

She stayed on strongly all the way up the straight to head Francophone by two lengths at the line, with Classical Song a further half length behind in third.

The 8-11 favourite Friendly Soul was never travelling and pulled hard after being dropped in at the rear of the field and eventually came home last of the seven runners.

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Secret Satire, who had finished third in a Sandown novice on her seasonal return, was cut to 14-1 with the sponsors for the Betfred Oaks – a race Balding has won in the past with Casual Look.

His wife Anna-Lisa said: “Andrew was very hopeful that she’d come on from her last run, which was encouraging, and she looked well today.

“He said to me before I left this morning ‘come back with a winner, it’ll be tough, but this filly will finish in the first three’.

“Oisin was confident actually when we legged him up and he’s come back in and been very complimentary, so we’ll see how she is but I think the last Friday in May (Oaks) could be an option.

“They didn’t go very quick early and she was over-racing a little bit for the first half a mile, but she’s a gorgeous filly who really covers the ground.

“I’m so delighted for Guy Brook (owner/breeder), it’s his first Group winner, he’s a big supporter and I’m absolutely thrilled.

“It’s 21 years since we won the Oaks (with Casual Look) and it’s just lovely to have runners in those big races. It’s the time of year when all the geese are swans and all the smiles on the mornings can turn the wrong way round, but that one will really put a smile on Andrew’s face.”

Secret Satire was too good for Francophone at York
Secret Satire was too good for Francophone at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

Murphy added: “She wasn’t that silly early, we were just going very slow and I couldn’t get cover because the leaders stayed off the rail.

“It wasn’t a true test of stamina, so we don’t really know whether she’s going to stay at Epsom, but on that performance she didn’t do a lot in front and she deserves maybe to go there if Andrew decides.”

Francophone was sent off a 16-1 chance after winning at Southwell on her reappearance, with trainer Charlie Johnston admitting slight disappointment in defeat.

He said: “I always thought she’d be a filly comfortable in Pattern company, that’s why she went to the May Hill last year and Southwell sort of served its purpose as a starting point for the year.

“It looked a strange race to me, slowly run. Two and a half out I thought we’d won so it’s one of those, if you’d offered me this beforehand I’d have bitten your hand off but watching it live, two out I thought we were going to win as the favourite had pulled its chance away and the stars seemed to be aligning.

“She’s run well and showed she’s at home in this sort of company but the way she travelled there, I’m not sure she wants a mile and a half yet.

“She’s in the Ribblesdale but I’d be inclined to maybe stay at this trip (10 furlongs) for the foreseeable.

“Obviously for this owner (Kirsten Rausing) and this family, with black type secured, that is the first tick in the box.”

Ralph Beckett will likely look away from Epsom with the third and fourth
Ralph Beckett will likely look away from Epsom with the third and fourth (John Walton/PA)

Ralph Beckett saddled the third, Classical Song, and fourth La Pasionaria.

He said: “I thought it was a good effort from both our fillies.

“We’ll see how they come out of it, Classical Song might wait for the Ribblesdale, I think she’ll get a mile and a half looking at that.

“The other filly, I’ll work it out, we’ve others to think about but I was really pleased with her.

“Both our trial winners (Forest Fairy and You Got To Me) will go for the Oaks and I’ll work out what we do with these two, something else.”

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