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Forest pips Port in Cheshire Oaks Fairy-tale

Forest Fairy enhanced her Betfred Oaks claims with a narrow victory in the Weatherbys E-Passport Cheshire Oaks at Chester.

Heading to the Roodee on the back of an impressive win at Wolverhampton on debut, big-race pilot Rossa Ryan pulled his mount wide as the six runners turned for home and just got up to beat Port Fairy by a head on the 11-4 shot for Ralph Beckett.

Ryan had failed to win at the course in 39 previous attempts before finally finding his way to the winner’s enclosure aboard the promising three-year-old.

He said: “We went an okay gallop, they steadied up down the back and we got racing three (furlongs) out.

“She’s still showed a lot of signs of inexperience when I had to come out from behind and be a bit aggressive on her, but you can’t be but impressed by the way she got out and had a look around and still when the job needed to be done, she stuck her head down and galloped right out to the line.

“I’ll leave it up to Ralph and the team to decide where she goes next, but I would imagine that when she gets on softer going conditions, she’ll be a lot better again – and I’d imagine with racing, she’ll get better.

“She got away with the ground today, it’s probably on the slow side of good and I don’t think she’d want it any quicker than that.

“She did everything I asked of her and more and answered more questions than I thought she would. We shall see what the future holds, but she’s an exciting filly for sure and she’s one that should get better with time and with age.”

Forest Fairy now looks to have booked her ticket to Epsom later this month, with the daughter of Waldgeist cut from 20-1 to 16s for Classic success in the Oaks at Epsom with sponsors Betfred and shortened to 10-1 by Betfair.

Beckett, who also saddled the third-placed Seaward, said: “It was a very good result on all levels, the winner is still a work in progress and was still learning plenty on the job today.

“I think it’s probable she’ll end up at Epsom on the last Friday of the month. I don’t think I will be too worried about the ground, they usually do a good job for the first day of that meeting, she’s a good-moving filly and I would imagine it will be similar ground to today.

“She was just very immature at two and we had to take our time with her. I think we were all a bit surprised by how well she won on her debut at Wolverhampton, but we certainly haven’t underestimated her since!”

He added on Seaward: “The filly that finished third ran a good race too and she could come back to 10 furlongs for a race like the Agnes Keyser at Goodwood (June 9).”

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