Frankie Dettori clinches a landmark Group 1 win on Star Catcher
In a perfect world it would have happened on Enable at Longchamp 13 days earlier, but Frankie Dettori did not have long to wait for his 250th Group 1 winner and Star Catcher, on whom he has also won an Irish Oaks and a Prix Vermeille, was not a bad substitute.
Just 35 minutes after coming off second best to Kew Gardens on Stradivarius, the boot was on the other foot as Dettori got the better of another great battle by a short head as Star Catcher (7/4 favourite) beat Delphinia in the £550,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares.
“Star Catcher has never stopped improving but once Delphinia couldn’t get away from her she found her second wind and managed to get her head in front in the last 100 yards,” the Newmarket-based jockey said.
“It was hard work in the straight but the last shower made a big difference as it’s borderline heavy, and she doesn’t mind it.
“I am still a bit sour about Stradivarius, but the ground is a lot worse than we thought. I am pleased this filly won.
“Like you said, from crying to smiling in half an hour! She’s lovely, she’s tough, and I think she is going to stay in training. She is a wonderful filly and provided me with my 250th Group 1. I love her.”
Star Catcher was Dettori’s 17th Group 1 winner in a stellar year, while Gosden’s other runner, Oaks winner Anapurna, finished 11th of the 12 runners after holding a good early position.
Gosden said: “It was extraordinary to see three fillies fighting it out together, but she was determined to get her head in front and you cannot doubt her courage. She’s a wonderful filly and now she can have a winter off.
“She won the Prix Vermeille on fast ground, she won in Ireland on quick ground and now she’s won on heavy. The inner track is better than the outer track, but we’ve had a lot of rain.
“It’s a gorgeous day and these wonderful horses are running, and so far we’ve had three incredible races.”