Chicquita earns first Irish Oaks for Montjeu
CHICQUITA broke her maiden in some style at the Curragh on Saturday when storming home under Johnny Murtagh to win the Darley Irish Oaks.
Held up in midfield, she travelled ominously well throughout and stayed on well - despite hanging left in the closing stages - to repel the challenge of Venus De Milo.
Second to Treve, who was sold to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani for a reported €8 million this week, on her latest start in the Prix de Diane, Chicquita becomes a first Irish Oaks winner for her late sire Montjeu. The son of Sadler's Wells, who has sired four Epsom Derby winners, understandably gained a reputation as a sire of colts, but a number of fillies have come to the fore in recent years in the shape of top-level winners Sarah Lynx and Miss Keller.
This was Chicquita's first run over 1m4f and it was always likely to bring about improvement. She is the first foal out dam Prudenzia - the first daughter of Dansili to produce a Group 1 winner - who was a Listed winner over 1m3f in France for Pascal Bary.
Chicquita was bought by Australian owner-breeder Paul Makin for €600,000 at the Arqana August yearling sale, a price that seems justified considering the female talent found in her pedigree. Her dam's half-sister Pacifique, also by Montjeu, had classy form in France, winning the Group 3 Prix du Lutece at three and further back it is the family of Lancashire Oaks heroine Pongee, who was just touched off in the Yorkshire Oaks.