Beverly D. scouting report: Secret Gesture
Secret Gesture, a Group 1 bridesmaid over the course of her career, enters with a high level of form for trainer Ralph Beckett.
Placed in a trio of Oaks – the Epsom (G1), German (G2) and Yorkshire (G1) versions – during her sophomore campaign in 2013, she added more minor awards in Group races to her resume in 2014, including the York (G2) (to future Northern Dancer Turf [G1] winner Sheikhzayedroad) and the Prix Jean Romanet (G1).
Secret Gesture ended the year with a fifth behind Dayatthespa in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Stalking early, she was outkicked late, but beaten only a length by runner-up Stephanie’s Kitten:
Instead of retiring her to the paddocks, connections decided to give her another go at a big prize this season. The five-year-old repaid their confidence by scoring an overdue first Group win in the Middleton (G2) at York. She took a page from Dayatthespa’s playbook to lead all the way, downing a useful field.
Next time in the Pretty Polly (G1), Secret Gesture attended the pace set by Diamondsandrubies. But as in the Breeders’ Cup, when it turned into a sprint to the wire, she was outkicked and settled for fourth.
Runner-up Legatissimo is the 1000 Guineas (G1) winner, and Oaks (G1) near-misser, who has since come back to crush the Nassau (G1) at Glorious Goodwood. Third-placer Ribbons is last summer’s Jean Romanet winner over Secret Gesture.
Given her stamina, Secret Gesture’s best tactic could be to make an early move and try to steal a march on her rivals. If she can open up at the decisive point, she’ll stay on relentlessly. Otherwise, she’s vulnerable to those with a superior turn of foot. In any event, Secret Gesture is the kind of honorable servant who will run her race and be in contention late.
The Galileo mare is beautifully bred, being out of a Danehill half-sister to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner Sagamix and Sagacity, with fellow French Group 1 scorers Sageburg and Sagawara also close up.
Photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos.