Snowfall storms to Oaks glory for O’Brien and Dettori
Last month’s Musidora Stakes winner simply blew the opposition away in the final furlong to give Dettori a sixth Oaks triumph and O’Brien his ninth.
Sent off at 11-2, Snowfall had the race won before the furlong marker and crossed the line a record 16 lengths clear of the George Boughey-trained 50-1 chance Mystery Angel in second place.
Divinely (20-1), also trained by O’Brien, was a further length and three-quarters way in third, with Save A Forest (40-1) fourth and the O’Brien-trained 5-2 favourite Santa Barbara only fifth.
Mystery Angel was well away and stayed in the front rank throughout the race. Sherbet Lemon was alongside her in the early stages with La Joconde, Willow, Dubai Fountain and Saffron Beach on their heels.
The field moved over the stands side after turning Tattenham Corner, with Dettori able to steer a clear passage for Snowfall.
Hitting the front two furlongs out, the daughter of Deep Impact continued to put daylight between herself and her rivals to become one of the easiest Oaks winners ever seen.
O’Brien said: “We really thought she was a proper Group One filly last year, and she kept disappointing. Little things happened to her in races, and stuff like that.
“But she won the Musidora very impressively. You’re never sure, but she has a lot of class – when ground turns like that, you can sometimes get extreme distances.
“But Frankie gave her a very good ride – and she looks a very special filly, doesn’t she?”
He went on: “She disappointed a few times and had a few things happen to her in races – races didn’t work out for her.
“Usually when they show that class, it will come. She had a lot of experience and did very well over the winter physically. She’s a very good moving filly and always showed a lot of class.
“She was very impressive in York – you couldn’t ask her to do any more than she did and she came out of the race very well.
“We were a little bit worried about the ground today, but Frankie was very impressed with her – he said at all stages he was cantering.
“She’s a very exciting filly.”
Many firms promoted Snowfall to favouritism for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – and there looks to be every chance of that being a target in the autumn, with other big races along the way.
Considering future plans, O’Brien said: “I was talking to Frankie afterwards and we were thinking of the Irish Oaks, but he said ‘don’t be afraid to take on the older horses with this filly and don’t be afraid to do it early if you want’.
“There’s every chance that she could end up in the Arc and that (King George) could be a possibility.
“She has plenty of pace, but she stayed the mile and a half well – as she goes up in trip the more impressive she’s becoming.”
Of Santa Barbara, O’Brien said: “Ryan (Moore) said she cantered into the race and then in that ground, she just emptied out on him.
“She’ll probably go back to a mile and a quarter next. She has loads of class. We thought that she would handle that ground, but in that ground, staying the trip was the worry with the pace she has.
“She’s a big, powerful, strong filly.”
‘ve won many Classics, but none as easy as this one
I've won many Classics, but none as easy as this one
A jubilant Dettori – who won the 1000 Guineas for O’Brien earlier in the season with Mother Earth – said: “That was unbelievable.
“Obviously she made the running in the Musidora. I wanted a better position, but they went off way too fast – everybody was fighting to get in the first three, so I let them get on with it.
“Four out I had everything beat. I looked in front and they were all gone.
“I took my goggles down and thought ‘don’t be clever’ and I just cut through the middle – it was like a hot knife through butter.
“I knew I was at least eight lengths in front. It was quite remarkable because I pulled up by the stables and everybody else pulled up by the winning post!
“I’ve won many Classics, but none as easy as this one.”
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