Friday 23 February 2018

Dettori stars again as Seville shines in French Oaks

Star Of Seville storms to victory in the French Oaks at Chantilly under Frankie Dettori REUTERS
Star Of Seville storms to victory in the French Oaks at Chantilly under Frankie Dettori REUTERS

Gerard Rowan

Just eight days after teaming up for Derby glory with Golden Horn, John Gosden and Frankie Dettori hit the Classic jackpot again as Star Of Seville defied stall 15 to take the Prix de Diane at Chantilly yesterday.

In a bold move from trainer Gosden, Star Of Seville was herself running only nine days after being well beaten when badly hampered in the Oaks at Epsom.

Dettori always had Lady Bamford's 16/1 chance close to the lead set by Clarmina, a pacemaker for the favourite Queen's Jewel.

While the field compacted turning in, Dettori was able to get first run on the Musidora winner as he took her to the front.

She maintained the gallop to see off Physiocrate, with Little Nightingale third. Queen's Jewel was never able to get in a blow. The other British raider, Mick Channon's Malabar, briefly looked as though she may get involved but could not get close at the business end.

"Frankie and I walked the track this morning and came up with a plan of what to do," said Gosden. "He has ridden her beautifully and I said after we walked and planned it, 'If this works you are a genius'.

"She will have a break and then she could run the Nassau Stakes and the Prix de l'Opera. I don't think she is an Arc filly, I think she is better over the mile and a quarter. She is a great filly, who is very strong mentally."

On the decision to run so soon after Epsom, Gosden explained: "She went very, very slowly (at Epsom) and ran for a furlong and a half up the hill and got knocked over.

"It was a very expensive piece of work, but she came out of it almost angry she didn't have a race.

"I left her in the first few days (at Chantilly) and I called Lady Bamford and said, 'This filly is in great form, she is back to her racing weight, please can I run her as she didn't have a run at Epsom'. I said, 'I know it isn't the normal way to prepare a horse, but please can I run her' and she was very sporting and said yes."

Dettori added: "I feel numb, I'm still riding the wave of the Derby. We had a party with the yard last night and I'm still trying to understand what is happening to me. Everything went absolutely to plan.

"I really didn't have to do that much. To back her up after a week to win the Prix de Diane, it's all down to John Gosden, they all thought he was mad, but he did it."

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