Quote: ‘I was like a hot knife through butter – I had everything completely beaten coming around Tattenham Corner’ – Frankie Dettori
By Andrew Atkinson
Aidan O’Brien trained Snowfall, ridden by Frankie Dettori, won the Cazoo Oaks Fillies Group 1 at Epsom on June 4 to tie with John Scott’s 185-year record of 40 British Classic winners – and could now head for the Arc de Triomphe.
Dettori, who mirrored late jockey legend Fred Archer’s 21 victories, said: “The Oaks has never been won by so far. This is a serious filly. I’ve won many Classics – but not as easy as this one.”
Snowfall gained a 16 lengths win over Mystery Angel. O’Brien trained Divinely finished third, with Save A Forest fourth.
“I pulled up at the stables – everyone else pulled up by the winning post – it’s incredible really.
“Enable was very good, she did the Irish Oaks, King George and Arc and I wouldn’t put that past her, she’s that good,” added Dettori.
“Frankie said he was in first gear the whole way, he was mega impressed. He said at all stages she was cantering and it’s proper soft ground.
“It felt like good ground on her, so she’s obviously just a very good filly,” said O’Brien.
“She looks a very exciting filly for this year. I was talking about the Irish Oaks – but Frankie said don’t be afraid to take on the older horses with her and don’t be afraid to do it early,” said O’Brien.
Dettori added: “I was like a hot knife through butter – I had everything completely beaten coming around Tattenham Corner.
“She was unbelievable. I wanted a better position, but they were going way too fast, everyone 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 a set of goggles down and thought ‘don’t be clever, just cut through the middle’.
“The only horse I hadn’t seen was Santa Barbara, so I took a glance and I was five in front and then she took off.”
O’Brien added: “She has plenty of speed – I didn’t think she’d necessarily want a mile and a half, but looking at that she gets it on her ear.
“As she goes up in trip she’s only getting more impressive. We thought she was a proper Group 1 filly last year, but she had a few races that didn’t work out for her.
“She got a lot of experience, raced a lot and did very well over the winter physically. Maybe she got stronger.”
5-2 favourite Santa Barbara finished fifth ridden by Ryan Moore: “Ryan said Santa Barbara cantered into the race, but in that ground she emptied. She’ll go back to a mile and a quarter – she has so much class,” said O’Brien.