07/20/2013 2:58PM

The Curragh: Chicquita gets maiden win in Irish Oaks


Chicquita, who fell when leading an allowance race in May and later finished second in the French Oaks on June 16, won Saturday’s $524,000 Irish Oaks at The Curragh, her first career win in her fourth start.

Ridden by Johnny Murtagh, Chicquita (9-2) finished a half-length in front of 6-1 Venus de Milo in the Group 1 race for 3-year-old fillies, despite drifting across the track in the final furlong. The incident was the subject of a stewards’ inquiry, but there was no change to the order of finish.

Just Pretending (8-1) was third in the field of seven. Riposte, the 9-4 favorite, was in contention until the final quarter-mile and faded to finish fifth.

Just Pretending set the pace, with Chicquita second or third for the first mile of the 1 1/2-mile race. Murtagh urged Chicquita to the front in the final furlong and caught Just Pretending late. Venus de Milo closed from fifth to finish second.

Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for Paul Makin, Chicquita, an Irish-bred by Montjeu, had the lead in an allowance race at Saint-Cloud in France in May when she fell 50 yards from the finish. She rebounded to finish second by four lengths to Treve in the Group 1 French Oaks at Chantilly last month.

After the Irish Oaks, Royer-Dupre said that Chicquita could start in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp in Paris in September.