Frankie’s Fanfare, Part 10: A Group 1 Double for Dettori at Epsom

June 2, 2023

The latest edition of Frankie’s Fanfare on Past the Wire where we are riding along with Frankie Dettori is his final year in the saddle and wow is he making it some ride!

Frankie Dettori secures a G1 double with Emily Upjohn (top) and Soul Sister (bottom).

By Breandán Ó hUallacháin

This may be his last season riding but Frankie Dettori is making sure to go out in style. 

A winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas with Chaldean at Newmarket, England, last month, this afternoon at Epsom Downs the Italian showed his class yet again, winning both of the Group 1 races. 

Friday’s feature race, the Group 1 Betfred Oaks, brought another classic victory for the soon-to-retire rider, as Soul Sister ran out an impressive winner of the one mile four furlongs three-year-old fillies’ contest, gving Dettori a seventh Oaks win.

Trained by father and son combination, John and Thady Gosden, Soul Sister, a daughter of Juddmonte Farms’ stallion Frankel looked to have the race at her mercy from a long way out.

Coming from near the end of the field as they reached the home stretch, the Lady Bamford-owned filly came comfortably on the outside of the other runners and challenged at the two-eights pole. 

With the race favourite Savethelastdance, from Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle Stables in Ireland, on her inside, as well as the eventual third place finisher, Caernarfon, Dettori asked his mount to take control, and in the process of a few strides she duly obliged, putting daylight between herself and the rest of the competition.

A winning margin of a length and three-quarters probably doesn’t do the Oaks winner justice, as she was eased down prior to the winning post.

The runner-up spot was taken by the Coolmore partners and Westerberg-owned daughter of Galileo, Savethelastdance, who is out of Scat Daddy’s Daddys Lil Darling, winner of the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs and the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita in 2017.

A head further back in third place was the Jack Channon-trained Conor Beasley-ridden Caernarfon, a filly by Cityspace out of a Royal Applause mare, Royal Ffanci.

Earlier in the afternoon, Frankie Dettori won the Group 1 DahlBury Coronation Cup with Emily Upjohn, with last year’s Betfred Oaks runner-up going one spot better this year at Epsom.

It was sixth success in the race for the Italian rider, having previously won aboard Swain (1996), Singspiel (1997), Daylami (1999), Mutafaweq (2001) and Cracksman (2018).

With only five runners in the race, Emily Upjohn, the four-year-old daughter of former Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, Sea The Stars, was held up at the rear of the group in the early stages.

Making a move on the outer three furlongs from the winning post, she was soon ridden to take the lead at the two furlongs pole. Though she drifted left, Emily Upjohn was clear with a furlong to race.

Staying only strongly at the end, just as she had done when unluckily beaten in last season’s Betfred Oaks over the same course and distance by Snowfall, the Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Jon Shack and Stuart Roden-owned filly defeated the 2022 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner, Westover, by a length and three quarters.

Point Lonsdale, a Coolmore partners and Westerberg-owned son of Australia, was seven and a half length further back in third place.

The German-trained Tunnes was five lengths more behind in fourth, a head in front of Godolphin’s Hurricane Lane, the 2021 winner of the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh, Ireland, and the Group 1 Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster, England.

The delighted winning rider Frankie Dettori, speaking to host broadcaster ITV of Emily Upjohn, said:

“She got into a good rhythm and she stays well, She’s a big girl so I had to get her prepared from a long way out. When she got to the two-furlong marker, she took off. She got what she deserved this year – things didn’t go right in the Oaks last year but she is a top-class filly.”

When asked if the filly had improved from last season, Dettori continued:

“I thought it was a great performance. She does feel better (than last year) and she does feel stronger in her mind. She was fighting herself too much last year and she is learning to relax a bit more and when she does that she is very good. Even to my standards I was impressed with the turn of foot that she showed. For a big girl like that to quicken like that was impressive. She is a proper horse now.”

The now dual Group 1 winner – she previously won the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot last October – will likely challenge for either the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown or the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, with both races taking place in July. 

Don’t miss our One on One interview with Frankie the legend himself:

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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