x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Blue Bunting takes Darley Irish Oaks after late surge

Frankie Dettori saddles a last-gasp victory for Godolphin — beating Banimpire on the line in the fillies' Classic.

Frankie Dettori snatched a last-gasp victory on Godolphin’s Blue Bunting in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh yesterday.

The English 1000 Guineas winner came with a late surge to beat Banimpire on the line and take the fillies’ Classic for the Dubai-based racing operation and her trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.

“That was great,” Dettori said. “Epsom was a bit of a mess up [when Blue Bunting came fourth in the English Oaks] but she came here with every chance.

“I got myself a bit stuck two out. She wasn’t going forward for me, so as a last resort I decided to switch her to the outside and that won me the race because once she has found a bit of daylight, she went forward. When I was stuck behind other horses I was really struggling.

“The pace was solid. All the four good ones we were all together turning for home and the best filly won – mine. She was the only one who came home.

“I didn’t know I had won until I passed the line. I had to ask Kevin [Manning on Banimpire]. I don’t ride her very often and he told me I had won. I knew I came into the race with a great chance.”

Al Zarooni said: “Frankie gave her a brilliant ride. The nice pace helped her. The pacemaker did a good job. We have no certain plans for her now but she may go for the Yorkshire Oaks next.”