Frankie Dettori’s last ride in the Gr1 Betfred Oaks at Epsom on Friday was a winning one as Soul Sister soared to victory at Epsom.
John and Thady Gosden’s filly was the backmarker for a good while, but as the race progressed she did too and in the home straight she was travelling much the best.
Winner of the Musidora Stakes, she accelerated past Aidan O’Brien’s Savethelastdance, the 5-6 favourite, and cantered over the line to prevail by a length and three-quarters at 11-4. Caernarfon (40-1) ran a big race in third for Jack Channon, just a head further back.
There was mixed fortunes for the winning yard, however, as stablemate Running Lion did not start after breaking out of the stalls, leaving Oisin Murphy stranded.
A jubilant Dettori – who had earlier won the Coronation Cup – said: “That means a lot – seven Oaks winners. Lady Bamford is a big supporter of mine and in my last year that is my second Classic winner – unbelievable.
“I have ridden two great fillies this afternoon – Emily Upjohn and this one. I just want to soak it in now!
“It was a bit messy at the beginning and I didn’t want to go too wide. William (Buick, on Eternal Hope) stopped quickly and I had to go wide, but I kept her balanced and she did the rest.
“When I passed them all I knew as I’d come from the back – I knew there was nobody behind me. You don’t get many opportunities to celebrate like that – maybe with Snowfall who was 20 lengths clear – but all the owners are here and all the gang so to go home and say I’ve done a 100 per cent job is great.
“At the moment things are going well, but you can easily mess up in this game! Five months is a long time.”
Gosden senior said: “She was slightly slowly away so Frankie did the wise thing and took her back and gave her confidence.
“I could see she was coming strong, but I didn’t know if she stayed a mile and a half – she stayed it well. You need to here because that last half-furlong is uphill. She’s a classy filly.
“When I was looking at her pedigree I like to see Darshaan under the third dam so that meant there was a chance she’d stay.
“It was a strongly-run race and she’s beaten a couple of nice fillies. I just didn’t know until the final two furlongs if she’d get home.
“She’s versatile over 10 and 12 furlongs, but it’s great for her to win a Classic for the owner/breeders. They bred her on their own farm and let me tell you, that is not an easy game – especially to go and win a race like this.
“Frankie is riding very well, we had a cup of coffee beforehand and it must have been very strong because he’s riding like a demon!
“The Irish Oaks is possible for the winner, it’s a bit early to say but that would definitely be a possibility, anything over 10-12 (furlongs) will be fine.
Aidan O’Brien was not too disheartened in defeat with Savethelastdance. He said: “I wouldn’t put it down to anything, she ran a great race and was beaten by a very good filly. We were very happy with her run, she has a lot of options, she can do whatever.
“We can take her home and do whatever, she’s a big, honest filly who stays very well and handles soft ground when it comes.
“She obviously handles good ground as well, but on soft ground it doesn’t bother her.”
- Racing TV