Newmarket review: Max Vega earns Investec Derby quote as Ralph Beckett saddles four winners

Harry Bentley riding Max Vega
Harry Bentley riding Max Vega

A review of the rest of Saturday's action at Newmarket as Max Vega earned a quote of 25/1 for the Derby on a day which saw his trainer saddle a four-timer on the card.

Feliciana De Vega completed a memorable Newmarket four-timer for trainer Ralph Beckett and jockey Harry Bentley with a clear-cut victory in the concluding Darley Stakes.

The Andover-based trainer has hit a rich vein of form in the last couple of weeks, having already saddled five winners this month prior to the start of Saturday's action.

Lucander also won the first race at York before Beckett and Bentley went on to dominate the under card on the Rowley Mile.

Beckett said: "What a day. My head man Adam Kite said this morning we would have a good day today and he doesn't normally say things like that, so I hoped he would be right.

"I'm really pleased it came together. I'm pretty sure it is the first time I've had four on one card. I had five or six three years ago on the Saturday of the July meeting, but they were spread out all over the place.

"It is great. We had a tricky spring and it wasn't going well. We hit a bit of a blip in July but it is always a good idea to finish the season off well."

Bentley said: "In England it's my first four-timer. In Qatar I've had a couple of six-timers. I've had a few trebles in the UK, so getting a four-timer is great.

"Future Champions Day is a top quality day of racing and to get a couple of Group Threes, a Listed race and a nice handicap is fantastic.

"I'm really pleased and appreciative of the opportunities."

Feliciana De Vega was a 4/1 shot for her Group Three assignment - turning out just eight days after finishing fifth in a Listed event at Saint-Cloud.

The result was scarcely in doubt as she devoured the testing conditions on her way to a three-length success over Indeed.

"She is a filly that struggled in the spring and she had various physical issues and we weren't getting it right," said the trainer.

"We went to France last week and poor Alexis Badel had nowhere to go for the entirety of the straight at Saint-Cloud and she pulled up full of running.

"I was keen to come here as a result. She is a good filly and she has shown that today, so I'm delighted."

Beckett and Bentley landed the opening Dubai Nursery with 7/1 shot Tomfre, before Max Vega thrust himself into the picture for next year's Investec Derby after taking a step up in class in his stride in the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes.

Having gone one better than on his debut Salisbury with an impressive victory at Pontefract next time out, the son of Lope De Vega was not for stopping on his first start over 10 furlongs in the Group Three affair.

Despite being keen early on, the 7/1 shot pulled smartly clear to score by three lengths and earn a 25/1 quote for next year's Epsom Classic with Sky Bet.

Beckett said: "He wasn't a big yearling and he has not grown into a very big two-year-old. He should develop over the winter. He has been a very straightforward little horse.

"He did a nice bit of work August-time and he ran well on his debut then we went for what appeared a penalty kick.

"I didn't plan to come here today but he was so well, I was sure that he would stay and he was always going to handle the ground.

"He was keen and at halfway I thought he was either going to win by a minute or fall in a hole and fortunately he did the former."

The third winner came via Richenza, who caused a minor upset in the Listed Dubai British EBF Boadicea Stakes.

Like Feliciana De Vega, the 11/1 shot was making a relatively swift return after finishing seventh in last Saturday's Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot.

"She's been a great filly for the team and she loves this soft ground - it was a real plus when the rain came," said Bentley.

"I got to the front early enough, but I had that forward momentum and she kept on running to the line."


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