Star Catcher, Frankie Dettori win Irish Oaks

Star Catcher (#9) with Frankie Dettori holding on to win the Irish Oaks over Fleeting
Star Catcher (#9) with Frankie Dettori holding on to win the Irish Oaks over Fleeting

Frankie Dettori produced another front-running masterclass in the saddle as Star Catcher gave him a fifth win this century in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

Supplemented for €40,000 at the confirmation stage by owner Anthony Oppenheimer, the John Gosden-trained filly was allowed her own way in front.

Dettori was able to dictate the pace virtually from the outset on the Ribblesdale Stakes winner, from Peach Tree and Manuela De Vega.

Quickening three furlongs out, Star Catcher (7-2) held a healthy advantage until the Aidan O'Brien-trained Fleeting put in a strong late effort.

However, Star Catcher pulled out more to win by a half a length. Pink Dogwood, also from the O'Brien stable, was four and a half lengths back in third.

Gosden, who won the Investec Oaks at Epsom with Anapurna, said: "When I suggested supplementing her to Mr Oppenheimer he was very brave and said, 'go for it if you think it's right', so he gave me full support.

"I think Frankie was aware his filly showed her best in the last furlong of the Ribblesdale and he was determined not to see a falsely-run race.

"He's gone out there, set his own fractions, and quickened off the bend. With a tailwind in the straight, but a headwind in front all the way down the back.

"That's Frankie, you leave him alone when he has a plan and he can go to Plan B usually quite quickly.

"He has the courage to do that, which comes from years of experience and having a clock in your head.

"He rode a quite beautiful race and confirmed the Ribblesdale form (with Fleeting).

"She's a lovely filly and she's really done well since Royal Ascot. It just seemed an obvious thing to come here. This is a Classic, it's a Group One and it's the Irish Oaks.

"They do close these races too soon in my opinion, which is why I never have entries in them and I always end up having to supplement if I have something good enough.

"It's no fluke and we've always liked this filly. I couldn't believe it when she was beaten first time out at Chelmsford.

"We probably didn't go strong enough in the mile-and-a-quarter Listed and she got collared."

When asked if the Yorkshire Oaks was possible, Gosden said: "There is Coronet, Lah Ti Dar, Anapurna and maybe even Enable.

"She's a fabulous filly and she's won a Classic, that's all it's about.

"She's out of a good mare and is by Sea The Stars, who to me is a phenomenally good stallion.

"This is a mile-and-a-half filly. Maybe later in the year the Prix Royallieu or Prix Vermeille could be options."



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *