- Sire-Dam -
Frankie Dettori has ridden a personal best 18 Group 1 winners in 2019 – beating his previous best of 16 – and Star Catcher has played her part for him recording three wins at the highest level with him on her back.
She had reeled off successive wins in the Ribblesdale, Tattersalls Irish Oaks and Prix Vermeille en route to lining up as 7/4 favourite for the £550,000 G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day.
Her triumph was quick consolation for trainer John Gosden and Dettori who were beaten by the narrowest margin of a nose in the preceding race, the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, when Stradivarius lost out to Kew Gardens.
Thirty-five minutes later they were the narrow winners as Star Catcher beat Delphinia (20/1) and Sun Maiden (25/1) by a short head and one length.
Sun Catcher’s owner/breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, who also raced and bred Derby winner Golden Horn, said his filly would remain in training next year, and added: “We’re all thrilled. We were very worried about the ground before the race and didn’t think she would go in it, but she has a lot of courage and really pulled on that. It was fantastic effort by her, the trainer and the jockey.”
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.”
Dettori was chalking up his 250th Group 1 win and said: “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. 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.”
BCS Career statistics
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