Frankie Dettori has produced another front-running masterclass aboard Star Catcher to record a fifth win this century in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
Dettori was able to dictate the pace virtually from the outset Star Catcher who is trained by John Gosden and owned by Anthony Oppenheimer.
Quickening three furlongs (600m) out, Star Catcher (7-2) held a healthy advantage until the Aidan O’Brien-trained Fleeting put in a strong late effort.
The winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, Star Catcher pulled out more to win by half a length with Pink Dogwood, also from the O’Brien stable, 4-1/2 lengths third.
“I think Frankie was aware his filly showed her best in the last furlong of the Ribblesdale Stakes and he was determined not to see a falsely run race,” Gosden said.
“He’s gone out there, set his own fractions, and quickened off the bend. With a tailwind in the straight, but a headwind in front all the way down the back.
“That’s Frankie, you leave him alone when he has a plan and he can go to Plan B usually quite quickly.
“He has the courage to do that, which comes from years of experience and having a clock in your head.
“She’s a lovely filly and she’s really done well since Royal Ascot. It just seemed an obvious thing to come here. This is a Classic, it’s a Group One and it’s the Irish Oaks.”
Star Catcher’s win was Dettori’s eighth at Group One level since May
“The vibes at home were good. John is a great trainer and he had a good feeling about her,” he said.
“Once Seamie (Heffernan) on the obvious front-runner (Peach Tree) couldn’t make the front I thought, ‘I’m going to make my own way home’.
“Then it was a matter of getting the fractions right and having a tailwind in the straight helps a front-runner and that was the case.”