Newmarket trainer full of praise for jockey Frankie Dettori and Anapurna after they land him a third Investec Oaks at Epsom
John Gosden praised the bravery of both his horse and the jockey after he won a third Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday.
Gosden’s Mehdaayih was the 11/4 favourite to land the mile and a half fillies’ Classic, but it was his other interest in the race – 8/1 shot Anapurna – who came through late under Frankie Dettori to get the better of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Pink Dogwood.
“It was a brave performance from Anapurna and as brave a performance from the jockey,” said Clarehaven Stables’ Gosden, who previously won the race with Taghrooda in 2014 and Enable three years later.
“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.”
While Gosden was celebrating a third victory in the race, for Dettori it was his fifth – the first having come 25 years earlier on board Godolphin’s Balanchine.
“I knew I would do my best work at the end, but I was worried that three lengths might be a bridge too far,” said the Italian.
“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.”
Anapurna also provided her sire Frankel with a first ever Classic triumph on British soil, having previously seen another of his offspring – Soul Stirring – win the Japanese Oaks in Tokyo two years ago.