John Gosden and Frankie Dettori teamed up to win their second Oaks of the season for owner Anthony Oppenheimer, and such is the strength in depth of the Gosden fillies that he was able to rely on Ribblesdale Stakes winner Star Catcher to do the job in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday rather than Epsom heroine Annapurna.
The daughter of Sea The Stars was given the perfect front-running ride by Dettori. With nobody keen to make it, he set his own fractions and when he quickened it up inside the two furlong pole he had all of his rivals on the stretch, and the filly, a 9-2 shot, had enough in hand to see off runner-up Fleeting by half-a-length with 5-2 favourite Pink Dogwood back in third.
Romanised put Curragh trainer Ken Condon on the map when he landed the Irish 2000 Guineas 14 months ago, but his stable star had been without a win since. However, he deservedly found the winning touch again when he ran out a decisive winner of the Group 2 Paddy Power Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday afternoon.
Ridden by Billy Lee, he sat off a very fast early pace and needed some racing room inside the two furlong pole, but when pulled to daylight by Lee he quickened really decisively to get to the front inside the last and was just doing enough to hold off favourite Hey Gaman by a length. The Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville next month is the target for the son of Holy Roman Emperor, sent off a 9-4 shot here.
The impression that Michael Halford has an above average bunch of two-year-olds was just that, an impression. But it was given plenty of credence at the Curragh on Saturday afternoon by the victory of the once-raced Roman Turbo in the Group 3 Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes.
With a maiden success to his credit here three weeks previously, the son of Holy Roman Emperor was sent off a 6-1 shot here, and in the hands of Ronan Whelan he picked up well from off the pace to get up close home for a narrow victory over Lil Grey and Soul Search. Where he goes next will be more than interesting.