FRANKIE Dettori was in perfect harmony with So Mi Dar as composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fabulous filly hit the highest notes of all on the Knavesmire.
After a wide-margin four-length win in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, the opening day highlight of York’s Dante festival, So Mi Dar is now set to put her Classic credentials on the line in next month’s Epsom Oaks.
This sweet success sets up an enticing clash with 1000 Guineas heroine Minding – the form of both fillies suggests that they could be amongst the very best three-year-olds this season.
Though both horses also hold entries in the blue riband Epsom Derby, an option which is clearly tempting Minding’s trainer Aidan O’Brien because he believes that his horse could be superior to the colts, So Mi Dar looks set to line up in the Oaks.
“She’ll give me a good spin around Epsom,” said Dettori, who was completing the second leg of an imperious hat-trick.
“She’s got what you require for the Oaks – she’s got tactical speed, she travels, quickens and stays the distance.
“Now it’s up to Minding. She’s got to step up in distance – she’s very good – but I’ve got a good one, also.”
Dettori was alluding to the fact that the Guineas was over a mile and So Mi Dar announced herself when winning at Epsom over 10 furlongs earlier this month en route to York.
Judging by the emphatic manner of this win, the mile and a half Oaks trips will be pitch perfect for Dettori’s mount who was held up in the Musidora before going from last to first in a flash. He could not have asked for a better tune from his horse who galloped to the line with rhythmical ease.
“She’s a lovely filly. She settled well and is very progressive,” said winning trainer John Gosden. “I could not be more pleased with her. She’s very generous and settles like a grandma.
“We’re heading towards Epsom. She’s a proper mile and a half filly and if those two run (Minding and So Mi Dar), it will be some Oaks.”
So Mi Dar runs in the predominantly pink Lloyd Webber colours that were carried to Musidora glory by The Fugue in 2012 before she finished a heartbreaking third in the Oaks following a luckless run.
However the composer’s wife Madeleine can’t wait. “She does look really good and we feel very lucky to have had these very good fillies,” she said. “You should never be frightened off by one horse, so hopefully we’ll be there.”
Fireglow, the 1000 Guineas fourth, was runner-up for Middleham trainer Mark Johnston – but the Oaks does not look a viable option at this stage.
“It’s hard to know what to make of that,” he pondered. “She looked beaten a long way out, but then plugged on. We need to put our thinking caps on. She’s probably not an Epsom filly and at the moment, 10 furlongs looks about right.”
As for Dettori who performed his customary flying dismount, he was completing a big race double after the Charlie Hills-trained Magical Memory ran out winner of the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes – the Musidora’s chief supporting contest.
The jockey was happy to take a lead on the far side of the track for much of the six-furlong journey, but he moved towards the front travelling ominously well.
The well-backed Suedois did his best to make a race of it, but Magical Memory was always doing enough and passed the post half a length to the good with connections talking about a possible tilt at the Breeders’ Cup later in the year.
Dettori said: “You have to time it quite right with him because he gets there quick and then he stops – he thinks he’s got the job done. If he keeps on progressing like this, he should win a Group One.”
The Italian then completed his treble aboard Gosden-trained Castle Harbour in the seven furlong Conundrum HR Consulting Stakes.
Earlier, there was white rose success when See The Sun knuckled down to emerge victorious in the Infinity Tyres Stakes for Great Habton trainer Tim Easterby and jockey James Sullivan.
A previous winner over the course and distance and successful on his seasonal reappearance at Doncaster, the five-year-old and was prominent throughout.
The challengers were queuing up heading inside the last of six furlongs, but See The Sun was not for passing and denied Mythmaker and Red Pike, both trained at Hambleton by Bryan Smart, in a thrilling three-way finish.
“Last year we couldn’t get him right but we just freshened him up,” said Easterby. “He’s a lovely little horse.”