Enable claims victory in The Oaks

John Gosden's filly was a 6-1 shot for a mile-and-a-half Classic run in driving rain after a thunderstorm hit the track just minutes before the off. Daddys Lil Darling is the most experienced filly in the field.

There was no shortage of drama in the build-up to the race, with 8-11 favourite Rhododendron arriving just over an hour ahead of the off, before American challenger Daddys Lil Darling was withdrawn after bolting to the start, forcing jockey Olivier Peslier into the ejector seat. I knew Rhododendron would have a question mark over her stamina.

The ground should certainly suit and the unique twists and turns of Epsom should cause no concerns following her win in the Cheshire Oaks at the equally tricky Chester. "I thought I was in trouble for a while but I knew she'd stay and team have done such an awesome job with her".

John Gosden will be represented by two fillies in the race - Juddmonte Farms' Enable (by Nathaniel), a victor of two of three starts including the Listed Cheshire Oaks in her last start and Coronet (by Dubawi), who defeated colts a year ago and was recently third to Sobetsu in the G1 Juddmonte Prix Saint-Alary.

Time on the turf rated good was a course-record 2:34.13. "I thought Rhododendron was going to get us but we just held on", he said.

"I thought the clever thing from Frankie was when Ryan tried to keep us in behind Sobetsu he was aware of it".

The daughter of Galileo was last season's leading two-year-old filly and many expected her to land last month's 1,000 Guineas.

At age 46 Dettori's taste for big-race success remains undimmed and Gosden described him as "pound for pound the best I've ever put on a horse".

"We can dream of the future, people are already naming races, but I'm taking it one step at a time". It would not be a surprise to see her take on the colts in mid-summer.

"I see no point in going back in trip with Enable now, there's some lovely races, like the Irish Oaks".

Favored for the 12-furlong Oaks was Ballydoyle/Coolmore's Rhododendron, one of three O'Brien-trained fillies entered in the Oaks, ridden by Ryan Moore. Whether the trip was far enough or because she'd had a very busy day, she still ran very well though.

The back of my mind I knew I had a great chance.

The Oaks field had been reduced by one when USA challenger Daddys Lil Darling bolted to the start and forced jockey Olivier Peslier to bail out before she then collided with plastic runners. I just wanted to get her past the line and get the job done'.

  • Julie Sanders