Frankel's Soul Sister The Oaks Heroine



John and Thady Gosden had the misfortune of losing Running Lion (GB) (Roaring Lion) from the start of Friday's G1 Betfred Oaks as David Howden's charge backed out of the stalls and got loose, but the Clarehaven duo ultimately came up trumps as Lady Bamford's G3 Musidora S. winner Soul Sister (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) triumphed in style. Reserved in rear early by a Frankie Dettori in rare form even by his exalted standards, the 11-4 second favourite swooped on the 5-6 favourite Savethelastdance (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and 40-1 shot Caernarfon (GB) (Cityscape {GB}) two out before asserting her superiority. At the line, the homebred had 1 3/4 lengths to spare over Savethelastdance, who stayed on gamely having been laboured some way out and who managed to outstay the Jack Channon-trained Caernarfon by a head for second.

“It's crazy–to have two group 1s already, I'm stuck for words,” Dettori said. “I ended up wide, but I said to myself to bide my time as she didn't have much experience and when she went I was able to enjoy the screaming of the crowds. Lady Bamford is a big supporter of mine and in my last year that is my second Classic winner–unbelievable.”

This looked a straightforward Oaks on paper beforehand and what Frankie had termed a three-horse race was set to be a two-horse race once Running Lion had exited stage left. What he hadn't banked on was the performance of the West Ilsley runner Caernarfon and the flat display of Ballydoyle's favourite, who was being rousted along by Ryan Moore as early as halfway and who could never make her mark on the event as she had at Chester on contrasting ground.

Once the maroon silks came into view down the outside in early straight, it was clear by the Italian's body language that Oaks number seven was in the bag and by the two-furlong pole it was far from certain that Savethelastdance would even get back up for second. As Caernarfon tired late on under Connor Beasley, the market-leader re-asserted in that private battle but Soul Sister was already away and gone much as the stable's Emily Upjohn had been an hour earlier.

Surprisingly, Soul Sister had been an 18-1 shot for the Musidora after her no-show in deep ground in Newbury's G3 Fred Darling S., a price bigger than that of another eventual Oaks heroine in Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who had been allowed to start that York trial two years earlier at 14-1.

This success meant that the Oaks had gone either to Clarehaven or Ballydoyle for each of the last 10 years and John Gosden said, “She had a funny draw, so he decided to drop her out and I was happy that he saved ground so it was a great Plan B. She had to have the class to pass the whole field and she did. The family hadn't got a mile and a half–her brother was a miler in France and never beyond so I was concerned whether she would stay or not, but I could see she was coming strong and she stayed it well.”

“When I was looking at her pedigree, I like to see Darshaan under the third dam so that meant there was a chance. It was a strongly-run race and she's beaten a couple of nice fillies. She's versatile over 10 and 12 furlongs and the Irish Oaks is possible, but I wouldn't be afraid of any mile-and-a-quarter race for her as she has the gears.”
Of Running Lion, he added, “She kicked out and caught her leg on the gate, so they had to open the back and she got loose. She's never done anything wrong in the gates and I think she was just getting ready to go. She's absolutely fine and we'll get her right at home and go to the Prix de Diane in 16 days.”

Aidan O'Brien said of Savethelastdance, “She ran very well. She was flat out all the way and it was different ground to the last day. Ryan said she wasn't finished going to the line and she went on this ground but handles soft ground better than most. She still ran a great race and was beaten by a very good filly. She has a lot of options, she can do whatever. She's a big, honest filly who stays very well and handles soft ground when it comes.”

Jack Channon, in his first year with the licence in his name, said of Caernarfon, “I thought she was going to win two out, but then I saw Frankie was cantering as well. She's a very good filly, she tanked herself into the race, had every chance and she's probably just been outstayed by two stayers. She'll probably drop back to 10 furlongs, but I'll have a chat with Connor and let the dust settle.”

Pedigree Notes

Soul Sister is the sixth foal out of Dream Peace (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), who captured the G2 Prix de la Nonette and placed in two editions of the GI Diana S. and GI E. P. Taylor S. apiece and a GI Flower Bowl Invitational. Bought for 2.7million gns at the 2013 Tattersalls December Mares Sale, she produced the listed-placed Questionare (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Frankel's group 3-placed Herman Hesse (GB) and the ultimately disappointing TDN Rising Star Guru (GB) (Kingman {GB}). Her fourth foal was another son of Frankel in Dreamflight, who Gosden was referring to in his post-race interview as the winner of the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon and the Listed Prix Omnium II.

The second dam Truly A Dream (Ire) (Darshaan {GB}), who was the winner of the E. P. Taylor when it was staged as a grade II, produced Ballydoyle's G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains runner-up Catcher In The Rye (Ire) by Dansili's sire Danehill and is the third dam of the G3 Lacken S. scorer Only Mine (Ire) (Pour Moi {Ire}). She is from the family of the group 1-winning half-sisters Moonstone (GB) (Dalakhani {Ire}) and Cerulean Sky (Ire) (Darshaan {GB}), whose progeny list includes Galileo's US Army Ranger (Ire) and Montjeu's Honolulu (Ire), while this is also the family of last year's G1 Platinum Jubilee S. hero Naval Crown (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and the G1 Empire Rose S. and G1 Australian Oaks heroine Colette (Aus) (Hallowed Crown {Aus}). Dream Peace's 2021 colt and 2023 filly are by Sea The Stars (Ire), while she also has a yearling filly by Le Havre (Ire).

Friday, Epsom, Britain
BETFRED OAKS-G1, £548,450, Epsom, 6-2, 3yo, f, 12f 6yT, 2:36.41, g/f.
1–SOUL SISTER (IRE), 128, f, 3, by Frankel (GB)
1st Dam: Dream Peace (Ire) (GSW-Fr, MGISP-Can & US, $815,242), by Dansili (GB)
2nd Dam: Truly A Dream (Ire), by Darshaan (GB)
3rd Dam: Truly Special (Ire), by Caerleon
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O/B-Lady Bamford (IRE); T-John & Thady Gosden; J-Lanfranco Dettori. £311,026. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, $485,765. *Full to Dreamflight (GB), GSW-Fr, $127,492; and Herman Hesse (GB), GSP-Aus, $196,401; and 1/2 to Questionare (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), SP-Ire. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Savethelastdance (Ire), 128, f, 3, by Galileo (Ire)–Daddys Lil Darling, by Scat Daddy. 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. O-Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Westerberg; B-Daddys Lil Darling Syndicate (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien. £117,917.
3–Caernarfon (GB), 128, f, 3, Cityscape (GB)–Royal Ffanci (GB), by Royal Applause (GB). 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. O-Hunscote Stud, P Humphreys & J Sweeney; B-Hunscote Stud (GB); T-Jack Channon. £59,013.
Margins: 1 3/4, HD, 8HF. Odds: 2.75, 0.83, 40.00.
Also Ran: Maman Joon (Ire), Bright Diamond (Ire), Heartache Tonight (Fr), Eternal Hope (Ire), Sea Of Roses (GB), Red Riding Hood (Ire). Scratched: Be Happy (Ire), Running Lion (GB).


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