Frankie Dettori Wins Betfred Epsom Oaks On Board Soul Sister In Farewell Year

Soul Sister beat the favourite as Dettori wins his seventh Oaks
16:58, 02 Jun 2023

52-year-old Frankie Dettori has won the Betfred Epsom Oaks on board Soul Sister in his last ever season as a jockey. Dettori has now won this race seven times, with his first success coming way back in 1994, but he took the win in his final ever appearance here. 

"It means a lot, seven Oaks, the Bamfords have been great supporters of mine, my last year, my second classic. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I just want to soak it in now!”

"It was a bit messy at the beginning, I didn’t want to go too wide, William stopped very quickly, I went wider, kept it balanced and she did the rest.”


There’s also the small matter of the Betfred Epsom Derby tomorrow in which Dettori will be on board Arrest. When asked if he could win both, he responded in typical fashion, “Imagine, imagine! I'm not going to sleep tonight!"

The Derby is still to come, but Dettori is right to bask in this moment of glory. And he predicted it, as he said before the race:  "Maybe I'm being a bit silly but to me there's only three fillies that can win it - Roaring Lion, O'Brien's and mine. They've (the rest) got a big gap to bridge."

Three became two before the race began as Running Lion booted his way out of stall two and missed the start. Then the race unfolded as Sea of Roses led early on, up the hill. Soul Sister was near the back of the pack as they reached the summit of the hill, but Dettori didn’t panic. 

Red Riding Hood sat third on the outside with five furlongs to go. Savethelastdance was in fourth while Detorri moved up on the outside as he headed for home with three to go - and he just kept on pushing as Savethelastdance also broke clear.

Betfred Derby odds with Betfred*

But what was set to be a straight shootout between the two was split up as Caernarfon battled between them and momentarily looked like she could take victory. However, Dettori kept his cool on the outside and calmly pushed his horse on to victory, as Savethelastdance battled on to take second spot, ahead of the impressive Caernarfon. 

It is turning into the perfect finale for Dettori, while Savethelastdance wasn’t quite able to make up for her mother’s trouble six years ago. In 2017, Olivier Peslier bailed on board of Daddy’s Lil Darling on the way to the start line and Savethelastdance ran well, but couldn’t get close to Soul Sister. 

Betfred boss Fred Done said, “Frankie’s swansong season is costing me a few quid but it was a pleasure to present him with the Betfred Oaks trophy today and he will be much missed when he finally does hang up his riding boots at the end of the year.”

On the 245th running of the Oaks, Dettori has taken the glory. Is it written in the stars for him to repeat the feat in the Betfred Derby tomorrow?

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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