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Blue Bunting achieves her second Series victory

18 Aug 2011

It was a brilliant day for Frankie Dettori, Mahmood Al Zarooni and Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation as their filly became only the third horse to win two QIPCO British Champions Series so far.

Frankie Dettori embraces Blue Bunting after their Darley Yorkshire Oaks triumph, with winning trainer, Mahmood Al Zarooni (right).  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

The Godolphin-owned Blue Bunting became the first horse outside the Mile division to win two QIPCO British Champions Series races when landing this afternoon’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks, the sixth race in the Fillies & Mares category, to add to her QIPCO 1000 Guineas victory in May.

Frankel (3 wins) and Canford Cliffs (2 wins) are the only others to register more than one victory in the 24 races to date.

It was a fourth Series win for both Mahmood Al Zarooni, who now trails Sir Henry Cecil by two winners on the Trainer of the Series leaderboard, and Frankie Dettori, who is now just one behind Tom Queally in the jockeys’ table.

Cecil’s and Queally’s positions on the leaderboards were also enhanced thanks to Vita Nova’s second place.

The fast improving four-year-old, having her first race in Group One company, looked a huge threat to Blue Bunting throughout the last quarter mile, but she could not overhaul the Godolphin filly.

Blue Bunting past the post three-quarters of a length in front, with a 3 ¾ length gap back to the third horse, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wonder Of Wonders.

Blue Bunting and Vita Nova could clash again in the final race in the division, the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, but Blue Bunting could have a crack at the Ladbrokes St Leger first.

That would see her take on the colts over a trip of 1 ¾ miles in the penultimate Long Distance race of the Series at Doncaster on Saturday 10 September.

Frankie Dettori said: "She was in season today, so her mind wasn’t exactly on the job – she made it really hard work for me.

"She’s never going to be flash – i.e. winning by a long margin – but she’s very hard to pass.

"Her form all year has been red hot and she’s very tough.”

Simon Crisford, Godolphin’s racing manager, said: “She’s a fantastic filly to have won a Guineas, an Irish Oaks and a Yorkshire Oaks on different types of ground.

"I’ve just talked to his Highness Sheikh Mohammed and he said, ‘Let’s keep all the options open’.

"It’s not definite that she will run in the St Leger, but it is quite possible.

"I would definitely say she’d stay the trip. She wasn’t stopping today and the further she went the better she was, so I’m sure a mile and six wouldn’t be any trouble to her at all.

"She’d have a great chance of winning if she went there. She’s a true star."

For the full race result, CLICK HERE.