Connections have Oaks in mind for Manuela De Vega

Mon 22 Oct 2018

Manuela De Vega justified strong market support to maintain her unbeaten record in the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract.

Ralph Beckett’s filly looked a bright prospect for 2019 as she swept between rivals I’ll Have Another and Three Comets to lift this Listed race for two-year-olds over a mile.

I’ll Have Another made the running and stuck to her task well before having to settle for third spot.

Responding willingly to jockey Harry Bentley, Manuela De Vega (10-11 favourite) ran out a ready winner by two and a three-quarter lengths from Three Comets.

“I was really pleased the race panned out  how I wanted, with PJ (McDonald) going out in front (on I’ll Have Another),” said Bentley.

“She was slightly on and off the bridle behind – but she was like that first time out, and I expected her to be still a bit green after just one run.

“It was an ideal second race for her. She had to come through horses at Salisbury, and had to do so again today. Ideally you want a clear run, but I was always confident she was going to take me through the gap.

“We were encouraged by her first run, and it was probably quite a nice race that day. She did everything right, without having a hard race at all.

“She certainly gave me a very good impression that day, and I know Ralph holds her in high regard at home – so we were expecting a good run today.”

Beckett, who also struck with Fresh Terms at Windsor, has won the Oaks twice with Look Here and Talent – and Bentley would not be surprised if Manuela De Vega developed into a Classic contender.

“She looks the right type of prospect to aim for a race like that,” he told Racing UK.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of of time before the Oaks.

“We’ve got the whole winter for her to grow into herself and see how she comes through that. She’s done nothing wrong so far.”

Andrea Atzeni enjoyed a 30-1 treble on Deja, Imaginative and Beer With The Boys – after serving a two-day suspension that cost him a winner on British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

Deja (7-2 joint-favourite) powered up the hill to get the ball rolling in the Watch More With racing UK Extra Handicap.

Peter Chapple-Hyam’s lightly-raced three-year-old outpointed Wajaaha in the final furlong to get the verdict by three and a half lengths.

Atzeni doubled up on the Roger Varian-trained Imaginative (6-4), who made his experience count as he out-battled the 4-6 favourite Gifts Of The Gold by a length after a terrific tussle in the straight.

The treble was completed by Beer With The Boys (7-4 favourite), who got off the mark at the ninth attempt with a gutsy half-a-length verdict over Via Delle Volte in the Racing UK On Sky Channel 426 Maiden Stakes division two.

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