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Soul Sister Gives Dettori Group 1 Double in Oaks

Favored Savethelastdance was second.

Soul Sister, with Frankie Dettori in the irons, takes the Oaks at Epsom Downs

Soul Sister, with Frankie Dettori in the irons, takes the Oaks at Epsom Downs

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

Soul Sister swooped down the outside of the Oaks (G1) field at Epsom and stayed on strongly to the line to hand jockey Frankie Dettori a fairytale group 1 double on the card June 2.


An unlucky second in this race last year aboard Emily Upjohn, Dettori kept it simple on the daughter of Frankel , cruising into contention and kicking at the two-furlong pole to score by one and three-quarter lengths for John and Thady Gosden.

There was drama at the start as the Gosden's other runner, Running Lion, broke out of the back of the stalls and was withdrawn, with jockey Oisin Murphy visibly annoyed.

Savethelastdance, who was sent off the 5-6 favorite after routing her rivals by 22 lengths in the Cheshire Oaks for Aidan O'Brien, stayed on in the closing stages to take second from the Jack Channon-trained Caernarfon, who ran a huge race at 40-1.

"It means a lot to win the Oaks seven times," Dettori said. "Lady Bamford (owner of Soul Sister) has been a huge supporter of mine. This is my second group 1, two great fillies and I just want to soak it all in."

Soul Sister (Frankie Dettori) wins The Oaks<br>
Epsom 2.6.23 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Photo: Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Frankie Dettori obliges with a flying dismount after Soul Sister's win in The Oaks at Epsom

On how the race unfolded, Dettori added: "It was a bit messy at the beginning. I didn't want to go too wide and William (Buick, rider of Eternal Hope) stopped very quickly, so I had to go a bit wider, but I kept her balanced and she did the rest."

A comfortable winner of the Musidora Stakes (G3) in her previous start, Soul Sister provided owner-breeder Lady Bamford with a second success in the fillies' classic, after Sariska gave her the first in 2009.

The owner said: "I really can't believe it. I mean to win the Oaks twice as an owner-breeder, it's unbelievable—it's a dream. There's extra pressure with Frankie riding, of course there is, but I've known him for a long time and I was thrilled for him—he's going to have the season of his life, he's just the best."

Soul Sister was an unfancied 18-1 shot when a four-length winner at York last time after a poor return in the Fred Darling Stakes (G3) at Newbury, where soft ground and the trip was blamed for her finishing last of the 12-runner field.

"The York race was run steadily and she sprinted, and I was concerned she may not stay the mile and a half today, but she did," John Gosden said. "This is wonderful for the stud, they bred her, and getting horses to this level is hard enough, let alone winning a classic.

"Frankie said he was going to be stuck three, four wide so he dropped in, and let's face it, he had a lovely run down the outside. But she's come from virtually last and shown a lot of class to win and it's thrilling that she stayed a mile and a half.

"It's a little upsetting that Running Lion seemed to suddenly rear up and kick out, and she broke the back gate and got out the back without Oisin. We'll have to see how she is, Thady has gone down to check. This game is full of ups and downs."

On Dettori, Gosden added: "When he's on the top of his game, there's never been anyone better. As an international jockey to go anywhere in the world, he can ride in any country, every style, every track—he's absolutely untouched in that department."