02 June 2023

Jack Channon proud of Caernarfon’s gallant Oaks effort

02 June 2023

Jack Channon was far from downhearted after coming within two lengths of Betfred Oaks glory with Caernarfon in his first season with a training licence.

Channon took over from his father Mick at West Ilsley at the start of the year, and has wasted little time in making his presence felt in the fillies’ Classics, with Caernarfon having also taken a fine fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last month.

Stepping up to 12 furlongs for the first time at Epsom, Channon thought he might be about to enjoy a dream start to his training career as Caernarfon briefly grabbed the lead two furlongs out.

However, the unstoppable Frankie Dettori – landing his second Group One of the day – delivered Soul Sister with a perfectly-timed challenge to secure the honours, with Caernarfon touched off a head by Savethelastdance for second.

The 40-1 shot could now drop back in distance after delighting Channon with her run.

She's a very good filly and has run a belter. I couldn't be happier - apart from if she'd won

He said: “I thought she was going to win two out, but then I saw Frankie was cantering as well. She’s a very good filly, I’ll see what Connor (Beasley, jockey) says but she tanked herself into the race, had every chance and she’s probably just been outstayed by two stayers.

“She’s a very good filly and has run a belter. She’ll probably drop back to 10 furlongs but I’ll have a chat with Connor and let the dust settle.

“I couldn’t be happier – apart from if she’d won.”

Beasley was equally as thrilled, adding: “She travelled lovely into the race. Coming away down Tattenham Corner she came underneath me really good and I thought, ‘I’ve just got to try to pick a way through’. She obviously hit the front and I don’t think she’s quite seen it out.

“But it was amazing, what she’s just done there, and I think we’ve got a very nice filly to go to war with.

“I can’t thank Jack and Mick Channon enough and the owners – they’ve stood by me with her.”

Savethelastdance was sent off the 5-6 favourite on the back of her wide-margin Cheshire Oaks victory, one that came on deep ground as opposed to the much quicker Epsom conditions.

Her trainer Aidan O’Brien offered no excuses in defeat, saying: “She has run well but she obviously handles soft ground and stays very well.

“We were very happy with her really. She has a lot of options and we can do whatever.

“Ryan (Moore) was very happy and said she ran a good race. She stayed on very well. The winner was a bit quicker than her on the better ground, but she ran well. She ran a great race but she was beaten by a very classy filly.

“Ryan said she was not finished going to the line and that she was still going strong. A furlong out she looked like she was going to be third, but she stayed on well to be second.

“We will take her home and nothing is ruled in or out.”

Maman Joon, who had finished second on her only previous start at Newbury, defied her odds of 50-1 to take a distant fourth for jockey Kevin Stott and trainer Richard Hannon.

The rider said: “It was a really good run on just her second start. She will be going places and we like her a lot. I was riding for luck more than anything and it turned out the way I wanted.

“They just quickened up a bit quicker than I did, but that is probably down to her inexperience. It was a good run. I think there is a nice prize in her.”

There had been drama at the start when Running Lion, a stablemate of the winner, kicked out in the stalls before backing out and breaking free, leaving Oisin Murphy stranded and forcing her withdrawal from the race.

John Gosden is now targeting quick compensation in France, as long as the filly recovers sufficiently.

He said: “Running Lion has never done anything wrong before – she’s a pussycat. She got her leg caught in the gate and cut it, so they had to take her out, and then she got loose.

“We’ll get her right and then take her for the Prix de Diane in 16 days’ time.”

Murphy added: “She just kicked the back gates open.”

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