Frankie Dettori wins Oaks in a canter on 11-2 shot Snowfall – and says it's like 'playing cowboys and Indians'

SNOWFALL ploughed through the Epsom mud under a motionless Frankie Dettori for a jaw-dropping Oaks win.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly was 16 lengths clear at the line, recording one of the most devastating Classic victories in modern history.

Dettori, who has now ridden 18 British Classic winners during his legendary career, grinned: "It was like playing cowboys and Indians – and I was the cowboy with the gun!"

A field of 14 classy fillies went to post for the fillies' Group 1, but it was a one horse race a full half-mile from home.

Favourite backers will have been tempted to screw up their betting slips just yards after the start as Santa Barbara (11-4f) was sluggish out of the gates and was dead-last under Ryan Moore.

Dettori, meanwhile, always looked comfortable as he sat mid-division aboard 11-2 shot Snowfall, who breezed easily across the rain-softened ground.


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Jockey Ben Curtis tried his best to pull off a huge shock aboard gallant front-runner Mystery Angel (50-1) – but as that horse quickened into the straight she soon had Snowfall tanking alongside.

Santa Barbara briefly threatened to get involved, but her challenge was over in the blink of an eye as Snowfall stormed clear for an incredible victory.

Dettori said: “She was unbelievable out there today. She made all the running when she won the Musidora last time and I wanted a better position early, but they were going way too fast.

"I let them get on with it, and four furlongs out I had everything beat.

"I had the luxury of taking a set of goggles down and then I thought, ‘don’t be clever, cut straight through the middle’.

"The only horse I hadn’t seen was Santa Barbara, but I had a quick glance behind and I was already five in front. She took off, simple as that.

"I’ve won many Classics, but none as easy as that. There were two question marks today, the ground and the distance, but she proved me wrong."

Earlier on the card, Pyledriver battled to a gritty win in the Coronation Cup.

Veteran jockey Martin Dwyer, who is the son-in-law to trainer William Muir, said he was feeling the pressure ahead of the race.

But he had a willing partner in Pyledriver (8-1), who found plenty under pressure to rally past Al Aasy (7-4f) to win by a neck.

Dwyer said: “Half my worry was losing the ride on him. It is not easy when you are not fashionable and you are not riding.

"You will have owners own a good horse like him and then it doesn’t pan out and he doesn’t win.

“But it worked out great. He really dug deep. It was a tremendous race to ride in and I’m sure it was to watch. They were two very good horses that drew clear.

“It is special and I got a bit emotional. Our racing has ups and downs and as a jockey if you are not fashionable it is hard to get good rides and when you do you feel like you are always defending yourself if don’t win.

"I suppose when I was high flying I would get on rides other jockeys would be kicked off. When it comes right and you win a big race you just enjoy it that bit more."

The result gave Lambourn-based Muir a first Group 1 win, and he said: “I started training in 1990 and I’ve got touched of smidgens in Group 1s.

“I’ve never had a Group 1 winner but this is it and this is what we do it for. To get these type of horse this is why we do it."


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