Betfred Oaks
Group 1, Epsom Downs 16:30
£525,000 guaranteed
3yo fillies only,
1m 4f 6y, Class 1   
Friday 2nd June 2023


1 Soul Sister 11/4
2 Savethelastdance 5/6F
3 Caernarfon 40/1
9 ran NR: Be Happy, Running Lion
Distances: 1¾l, hd, 8½l Time: 2m 36.41s (slow by 1.21s)

John and Thady Gosden’s Soul Sister was the backmarker for a good while, but as the race progressed she did too and in the home straight she was travelling much the best.

Winner of the Musidora Stakes, she accelerated past Aidan O’Brien’s Savethelastdance, the 5-6 favourite, and cantered over the line to prevail by a length and three-quarters at 11-4. Caernarfon (40-1) ran a big race in third for Jack Channon, just a head further back.

There was mixed fortunes for the winning yard, however, as stablemate Running Lion did not start after breaking out of the stalls, leaving Oisin Murphy stranded.

Gosden senior said: “She was slightly slowly away so Frankie did the wise thing and took her back and gave her confidence.

“I could see she was coming strong, but I didn’t know if she stayed a mile and a half – she stayed it well. You need to here because that last half-furlong is uphill. She’s a classy filly.

“When I was looking at her pedigree I like to see Darshaan under the third dam so that meant there was a chance she’d stay.

“It was a strongly-run race and she’s beaten a couple of nice fillies. I just didn’t know until the final two furlongs if she’d get home. 

“She’s versatile over 10 and 12 furlongs, but it’s great for her to win a Classic for the owner/breeders. They bred her on their own farm and let me tell you, that is not an easy game – especially to go and win a race like this.

“Frankie is riding very well, we had a cup of coffee beforehand and it must have been very strong because he’s riding like a demon!

“The Irish Oaks is possible for the winner, it’s a bit early to say but that would definitely be a possibility, anything over 10-12 (furlongs) will be fine.

“Newbury (well beaten in Greenham Stakes on seasonal reappearance) wasn’t her fault, it was heavy ground, Frankie lobbed up and didn’t ask her anything and it was like a piece of work because he knew she wasn’t enjoying it.”


Of the unfortunate Running Lion, he said: “She was just getting ready to go and caught her leg so they had to take her out but then she got loose. She’s absolutely fine and we’ll get her ready again and go to the Prix Diane in 16 days.”

A jubilant Dettori – who had earlier won the Coronation Cup – said: “That means a lot – seven Oaks winners. Lady Bamford is a big supporter of mine and in my last year that is my second Classic winner – unbelievable.

“I have ridden two great fillies this afternoon – Emily Upjohn and this one. I just want to soak it in now!

“It was a bit messy at the beginning and I didn’t want to go too wide. William (Buick, on Eternal Hope) stopped quickly and I had to go wide, but I kept her balanced and she did the rest.

“It was a bit messy at the beginning and I didn’t want to go too wide. William (Buick, on Eternal Hope) stopped quickly and I had to go wide, but I kept her balanced and she did the rest.

“When I passed them all I knew as I’d come from the back – I knew there was nobody behind me. You don’t get many opportunities to celebrate like that – maybe with Snowfall who was 20 lengths clear – but all the owners are here and all the gang so to go home and say I’ve done a 100 per cent job is great.

“At the moment things are going well, but you can easily mess up in this game! Five months is a long time.”

Cazoo Oaks
£525,000 guaranteed,
3yo only, 1m 4f 6y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good to Firm

1 (10)    Soul Sister 3 9-2 John & Thady Gosden Frankie Dettori 11/4
2 (4)
Savethelastdance 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 5/6F
3 (9)
hd Caernarfon 3 9-2 Jack Channon Connor Beasley 40/1
4 (7)
Maman Joon 3 9-2 Richard Hannon Kevin Stott 50/1
5 (3)
Bright Diamond 3 9-2 K R Burke Clifford Lee 50/1
6 (11)
Heartache Tonight 3 9-2 David Menuisier Cristian Demuro 28/1
7 (5)
7 Eternal Hope 3 9-2 Charlie Appleby William Buick 12/1
8 (1)
Sea Of Roses 3 9-2 Andrew Balding Rob Hornby 100/1
9 (8)
2 Red Riding Hood 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Wayne Lordan 40/1
WD 8 (2) Running Lion 3 9-2 John & Thady Gosden NON RUNNER
NR 1 (6) Be Happy 3 9-2 A P O'Brien NON RUNNER