A FIFTH INVESTEC OAKS FOR FRANKIE
Frankie Dettori added a fifth Group One Investec Oaks win to his Classic collection when taking the 2019 race aboard the John Gosden-trained Anapurna. He has now won 18 British Classics.
Dettori previously scored in 1994 on Balanchine, 1995 on Moonshell, 2002 on Kazzia and in 2017 on Enable. He is the most successful jockey currently riding in the mile and a half fillies' Classic, which is worth £525,000.
Anapurna, an 8/1 chance, became the first British Classic winner for her sire, Frankel. Bred by Meon Valley Stud, she is owned by Helena Springfield Ltd, the name under which Meon Valley Stud's fillies run. She beat the Aidan O'Brien-trained, Ryan Moore-ridden Pink Dogwood by a neck.
Dettori said: "I did not think I was going to get to Ryan, but my filly was very courageous. She was brilliant. I love having winners here. I rode my first Classic winner 25 years ago and am still here!
"It is 25 years since my first Oaks winner [Balanchine, 1994]. With this one I think I managed to pass my greatest hero, Pat Eddery, in number of Classics won. I had a great run, I got a nice split to the inside. For a moment I thought, 'God, I'm not good enough', but when the stamina kicked in she won really well.
"It was a team decision for me to ride Anapurna [rather than Gosden's other runner Mehdaayih, the 11/4 favourite who finished seventh under Rab Havlin]. I never rode the filly [Mehdaayih] this year and Rab has done really well with her. I knew mine would stay but the only thing I was afraid of was the [lack of] experience. But it was a great run round. For a minute I couldn't get out and when I took the split she took a furlong to get going and Ryan [Moore, on Pink Dogwood] had three lengths on me, but I knew she would come good.
"She's completely different to Lingfield [where she won the Oaks trial on May 11]; she travelled a lot better today. She was all at sea at Lingfield, but that taught her a lot. She's a very good stayer and she proved it today.
"It's a milestone for me because Pat Eddery was my greatest hero. I sat next to him in the weighing-room for 20 years, and I managed to pass him with this Classic. They are hard to win and when you do win, it's great. We miss Pat; he was a great mentor."
ANA HAS GOSDEN PURRING WITH THIRD OAKS SUCCESS
Newmarket trainer John Gosden recorded his third success in the £525,000 G1 Investec Oaks following the victory of 8/1 shot Anapurna in the fillies' Classic.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the three-year-old daughter of Frankel, siring his first Classic winner, ran on strongly in the closing stages to collar 3/1 chance Pink Dogwood, trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore to score by a neck.
Pink Dogwood's stable companion Fleeting (25/1), was a further length and a quarter back in third.
Gosden captured the 2014 Investec Oaks with Taghrooda and the 2017 renewal with subsequent dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Enable.
Discussing the victory, Gosden said: "it was a brave performance from Anapurna and as brave a performance from the jockey.
"Anapurna had a dream trip. She was on the inside, where you get boxed IN, but Frankie found a lovely little gap rather like Defoe did in the Coronation Cup. It was brave but he got the gaps, saved the ground and I thought she was very brave.
"I thought coming past the furlong pole that Ryan Moore and Pink Dogwood had got it. But this filly somehow found the reserves of courage and energy to get her head back in front. That last 50 yards are uphill and in the end she basically just outstayed the other filly. So full marks to both riders and both fillies."
Gosden also saddled Mehdaayih, the 11/4 favourite who finished seventh under Rab Havlin after a troubled passage up the home straight. Reflecting on her performance, Gosden continued: "Frankie found a gap on the inside which you usually don't get at Epsom, whereas our other filly Mehdaayih got smashed and bumped around everywhere. Mehdaayih is a very good filly and had a very rough trip, but hopefully there will be other days for her."
Anapurna was bred by Meon Valley Stud and the horse was leased to run in the name of the promotional company Helena Springfield Ltd, which is managed by Mark Weinfeld and Helena Ellingsen, the joint partners in Meon Valley Stud. Telecaster, who runs in tomorrow's Investec Derby, was also bred by Meon Valley Stud.
Gosden continued: "Mark Weinfeld and Meon Valley Stud are owner-breeders and for them to own a Classic winner is what it is all about. They have a horse in the Derby tomorrow (Telecaster) as you know, so it is beyond exciting for them.
"It's very exciting to have a winner for the owners. She is bred by wonderful owner-breeders, they have their stud farm and they breed a lot. They have a horse running in the Derby tomorrow that they offered for sale - for owner-breeders to win the Oaks is what it is all about."
ANAPURNA CAPTURES THE OAKS
The John Gosden-trained Anapurna (8/1) won the £525,000 G1 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs Racecourse for trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori.
The three-year-old daughter ran on strongly in the closing stages to master the Aidan O'Brien-trained Pink Dogwood (3/1) to score by a neck.
Anapurna was bred by Meon Valley Stud, a venture set up by Egon and Elizabeth Weinfeld. In 1979, they formed the stud, in Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire. It is now one of the most successful British commercial breeding operations.
The stud has bred a string of top-class winners and keeps a number of fillies and the occasional colt in training. Egon Weinfeld's son Mark and daughter Helena Ellingsen are actively involved in the management of the stud and many of their racehorses are leased to run in the name of the promotional company Helena Springfield, including Anapurna.
Meon Valley Stud also bred the Hughie Morrison-trained Telecaster, who runs in tomorrow's £1.625 million Investec Derby.
Mark Weinfeld said: "Anapurna really had to be tough. We have gone close to winning the Oaks before, so this is unbelievable.
"This is what we live for, this is what we dream of. You start your matings four years beforehand and to see them come to fruition like this is an unbelievable feeling, particularly if you own the horse as well.
"We sell a lot of what we produce, but here we have a broodmare for the future."
INVESTEC OAKS PRESS CONFERENCE
Winning trainer John Gosden: "Anapurna won first time out this year at Lingfield in great style, and the plan was always to go straight back to the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She ran green then, was off the bridle and learning and at one stage Frankie had to say 'come on old girl, we are meant to be racing here!' Then in the straight she powered away from them, but was looking around and learning.
"She sharpened enormously from the Oaks trial, and I told [sister and brother who own Meon Valley Stud] Helena [Ellingsen] and Mark [Weinfeld] and Frankie that she had really come on. Her work rider, who also looks after her at home, now has to sit as still as a mouse on her - if you ask her, she'll just go whosh! Before she used to just look a little confused.
"You can't over train a filly like this as she has taken time to come to herself - she has been incredibly brave today, the other filly [second Pink Dogwood] also, both are great fillies in a race. Sadly for Rab [Havlin on 11/4 favourite Mehdaayih - the other Gosden runner] he met rather a lot of trouble in running.
"Frankie got through the gaps, he sat handy to the pace which helped, Rab just got slammed a couple of times, but that is Epsom and that is a Classic.
"I thought coming past the furlong pole we were going to run a valiant second or third, and then through the last 50 yards when it climbs again, she dug deep, the jockey dug deep, and Frankie just hand rode her to the finish, the pair outstayed the rest. It was a proper test of good fillies."
Winning jockey Frankie Dettori: "She jumped pretty good [settled third on inside], and then Silvestre [de Sousa] was getting run off with a little bit and I thought he won't get home, and I thought if he stops he might take me back, and then the pacemaker was on his outside. I was also concentrating on that and the fact that I wanted to float down the hill without using her energy, and that was the case.
"Then I was trying to look for a gap and I thought 'Oh sxxx', and I was still dealing with that when Ryan [Moore] and Jim [Crowley] kicked on the outside and I thought they were gone. Then I managed to get through a gap and I thought there 'were still two furlongs left and it is quite a long way'.
"I knew I would do my best work at the end, but I was worried that three lengths might be a bridge too far. Then she started to motor and I was trying to work out my timing - and I thought then I might get there.
"It was a great buzz, it has been 25 years since my first Oaks. Sometimes when you are not riding a favourite, you are able to enjoy it a bit more as you are not under so much pressure. We knew we had a chance but we were third favourite so I was able to take it all in and enjoy it - thank you John!
"I rode her at Lingfield, she has improved a lot and she is more the finished article, she travelled really well through the race today, unlike Lingfield. She had to show willingness and be brave and put out a very good finish - she is improving and is a very good filly."
Winning owner Mark Weinfeld: "This is the fourth generation of this family going back to One In A Million. Anapurna is out of Dash To The Top, who was a Montjeu filly who had one or two Montjeu traits but was very talented - she seems to have passed that bit on!"
John Gosden: "Breeding horses is the toughest thing, things go wrong all the time, owner-breeders like Mark and Helena with their farm at Meon Valley, for them to breed an Oaks winner, and go through all the nightmares that breeders go through, it is a great test of faith. Without these owner-breeders, there would be no proper racing. It is a testament to them, they are the most important ingredient today and what they have achieved."
Frankie Dettori referencing the late champion jockey Pat Eddery.
"I sat next to him for about 15 years, he was a great ambassador, he was super cool, it means a lot. I looked up to him, but sadly he passed away - I dedicate this win for him. He was a legend to the Turf and I learned a lot from him."
SECOND AND THIRD FOR O'BRIEN IN FILLIES' CLASSIC
Aidan O'Brien trained the second and third in the Investec Oaks, Pink Dogwood (3/1) and Fleeting (25/1). The former, partnered by Ryan Moore, looked all over the winner up the home straight, but was just run out of it in the closing stages by Anapurna, going down by a neck, while Fleeting came with a late run under Wayne Lordan to finish the length and a quarter third.
Post-race O'Brien said: "Pink Dogwood ran a lovely race, it was her first run over a mile and a half and she ran a lovely race - both fillies ran well.
"The ground was fine for her, she just got collared late and in those instances you can look for reasons, but she ran a great race."
As for a possible rematch in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, O'Brien said: "We'll see how she is and what the lads decide to do next time."
Ralph Beckett, trainer of the fourth-placed Manuela De Vega, said: "She's run a great race - on a different day, we'd take them all on again. We'll think about going on to the Curragh."
JOCKEYS' THOUGHTS AFTER THE INVESTEC OAKS
Wayne Lordan, partner of the third home Fleeting, said: "It was grand. I gave her a chance and she came home well. I am very happy."
Harry Bentley, rider of fourth Manuela De Vega, said: "Manuela De Vega ran a great race. I was bit concerned from stall one, but we got a nice position, travelled well and did nothing wrong at all."
Seamie Heffernan, jockey of the fifth Delphinia, said: "Beautiful."
James Doyle, on board sixth Frankellina, said: "She ran good, I am really pleased with her. We decided to go to the back with her lack of experience, and she just pulled a bit too hard all the way. She will definitely have learnt plenty there."
Robert Havlin, on board seventh Mehdaayih, said: "It was a bit of a rough race for me. At one and a half furlongs to go she got skittled around and I couldn't do anything afterwards."
Jim Crowley, partner of eighth Maqsad, said: "I had a good trip round. I was cantering at the two pole, but she didn't quite get home."
Jamie Spencer, rider of ninth Blue Gardenia, said: "The ground was too quick."
Donnacha O'Brien, jockey of 10th Peach Tree, said: "She ran well for a good while."
Chris Hayes, rider of 11th Tarnawa, said: "It went fine. I got into a grand position but it all seemed to be happening a bit quick. I don't think she handled the track."
Andrea Atzeni, on board 12th Tauteke, said: "I got a nice run round - got a nice position, but I am not sure how she handled the track."
Tom Queally, partner of 13th Sh Boom, said: "It didn't seem to happen today."
Silvestre de Sousa, jockey of 14th Lavender's Blue, said: "She didn't stay the trip."
4.30pm £525,000 G1 Investec Oaks
(British Champions Series), 1m 4f
1 (3) Anapurna John Gosden 9st 0lb Frankie Dettori 8/1
2 (12) Pink Dogwood (IRE) Aidan O'Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Ryan Moore 3/1
3 (10) Fleeting (IRE) Aidan O'Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Wayne Lordan 25/1
4 (1) Manuela de Vega (IRE) Ralph Beckett 9st 0lb Harry Bentley 16/1
5 (13) Delphinia (IRE) Aidan O'Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Seamie Heffernan 66/1
6 (14) Frankellina William Haggas 9st 0lb James Doyle 12/1
7 (6) Mehdaayih John Gosden 9st 0lb Robert Havlin 11/4 Fav
8 (5) Maqsad (FR) William Haggas 9st 0lb Jim Crowley 4/1
9 (11) Blue Gardenia (IRE) David O'Meara 9st 0lb Jamie Spencer 100/1
10 (9) Peach Tree (IRE) Aidan O'Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Donnacha O'Brien 33/1
11 (7) Tarnawa (IRE) Dermot Weld, Ireland 9st 0lb Chris Hayes 20/1
12 (8) Tauteke Roger Varian 9st 0lb Andrea Atzeni 25/1
13 (2) Sh Boom Peter Chapple-Hyam 9st 0lb Tom Queally 100/1
14 (4) Lavender's Blue (IRE) Amanda Perrett 9st 0lb Silvestre De Sousa 100/1
Winner owned by Helena Springfield Ltd
John Gosden Investec Oaks Record: Three wins from 16 runners - Taghrooda (2014), Enable (2017), Anapurna (2019)
Investec Oaks Record: Five wins from 23 rides - Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995), Kazzia (2005), Enable (2017), Anapurna (2019)
Time: 2m 36.09s
Distances: nk, 1¼, 1, 1½, ¾, 1½, 3¾, 1, 2¼, sh, 1½, 5, 21
Breeder: Meon Valley Stud
Breeding: b f Frankel - Dash To The Top (Montjeu)
Tote Win: £6.70 Places: £2.40 £1.60 £6.70 Exacta: £38.60 Trifecta: £680.00
CROWLEY RECEIVES FOUR-DAY BAN
Jim Crowley, rider of Maqsad, who finished eighth in the Investec Oaks, has received a four-day ban for careless riding during the Group One fillies' Classic.
The Epsom Downs stewards deemed Crowley to have allowed Maqad to drift right-handed "without timely and sufficient correction when it had shown a tendency to do so" inside the final furlong. Maqsad interfered with Manuela De Vega, placed fourth under Harry Bentley, who in turn interfered with the 11/4 favourite Mehdaayih, ridden by Robert Havlin, giving the filly "a significant bump", and she in turn interfered with fifth-placed Delphinia (Seamie Heffernan).
Frankie Dettori, rider of the Investec Oaks winner Anapurna, was suspended for two days for using his whip above the permitted level from two furlongs out.