Frankie Dettori claims Epsom Oaks with Enable

Frankie Dettori claims Epsom Oaks with Enable
Jockey Frankie Dettori celebrates winning the Investec Oaks on Enable. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Enable ran out an impressive winner of the Investec Oaks at Epsom in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

John Gosden's filly was a 6-1 shot for a mile-and-a-half Classic run in driving rain after a thunderstorm hit the track just minutes before the off.

Pocketfullofdreams took the field along for much of the way, but was a spent force heading inside the final three furlongs.

Her stablemate Rhododendron, the 8-11 favourite after finishing second to fellow Aidan O'Brien inmate Winter in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, loomed up ominously, but Enable was also delivered with her challenge and the pair settled down to fight it out.

Rhododendron briefly looked to be travelling the better, but her stamina appeared to give out passing the furlong marker and the further Enable went the better she looked and there was five lengths between them at the line.

Alluringly was third.

Dettori said: "When I saw Ryan (Moore, on Rhododendron) wasn't moving alongside me I thought I was in trouble, but once I saw his distress signals coming I knew my filly would stay right to the end.

"She pulled away in the last furlong and is a good mare, well done to everyone at Clarehaven, you've done a good job.

"She's only run three times, she's very good. She's still a bit of a frame but I think she'll get better and better.

"In the back of my mind I thought we had a chance, the rain spoiled it a bit as I was concentrating on my game plan so I didn't have much time to celebrate crossing the line."

Gosden said: "We knew there'd be a strong pace, but I didn't think quite that strong.

"I thought the clever thing from Frankie was when Ryan tried to keep us in behind Sobetsu he was aware of it.

"On a plane to France recently Ryan told me he was very impressed with the way ours had quickened at Chester, I put a lot of weight on that because Ryan is quite tight with praise normally!"

He added: "It was an epic battle, I thought the other filly had us but in the last furlong she really dominated. Frankie and Ryan are two exceptional jockeys, pound for pound the two best I've ever put on a horse.

"We can dream of the future, people are already naming races, but I'm taking it one step at a time.

"Shutter Speed beat Enable at Newbury and then won the Musidora when she hated the ground, but she's a 10-furlong filly so she'll go to France (Prix de Diane on Sunday) and we'll see what they've got.

"I see no point in going back in trip with Enable now, there's some lovely races, like the Irish Oaks."

O'Brien, whose runners had suffered a marked delay in getting to the track after travel problems in Ireland, said of Rhododendron: "I thought she ran very well, everything went lovely and she ran a good race.

"He (Moore) didn't use the rain as an excuse, he just felt the last furlong seemed like a long furlong. Whether the trip was far enough or because she'd had a very busy day, she still ran very well though.

"I suppose she wouldn't mind going back in trip."

There was drama before the off when American challenger Daddys Lil Darling bolted to the start, with Olivier Peslier deciding to bail out just before she reached the stalls.

Trainer Kenny McPeek said: "I'm pretty well disappointed, in hindsight I wish I'd have had a pony (to accompany her to the start) but I tried to find one a couple of days ago.

"She handled the track well enough and I didn't see any problem. She was strong going into the race.

"Hopefully the filly is OK, we'll get back and regroup. I haven't thought beyond today, but I will be back, you can't predict that."

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