Dettori clinches French Oaks

Jun 10, 2007 - 3:34 PM CHANTILLY, France (Ticker) - Frankie Dettori gained his third classic victory in the space of eight days when he partnered West Wind to victory in the Prix de Diane Hermes (French Oaks) at Chantilly on Sunday.

Alex Pantall's filly settled in the middle of the field through the early stages, but moved smoothly into contention before producing a telling turn of foot.

Mrs. Lindsay stayed on well once headed to claim second place, just ahead of Diyakalanie, but neither could match the potent acceleration of the winner.

Mrs Lindsay arrived at Chantilly on the back of two successes this season, and Johnny Murtagh was keen to apply the pace on Francois Rohaut's filly.

The pair were still in command as a host of challengers loomed at the quarter-mile pole before West Wind swooped under Dettori.

Sheikh Mohammed's winner had quickly moved into a challenging position and assumed command when Dettori pushed the button with a furlong and a half to go.

Having seized an unassailable lead, West Wind then coasted home.

Dettori treated the crowd to his customary flying dismount before receiving warm congratulations from an elated Pantall.

"It is crazy! I am delighted as it is the first time I have won the Diane but also to have ridden Alex's first Group One winner," said Dettori. "It is an historic day."

The occasion got the better of Pantall, who burst into tears when West Wind crossed the line.

"It's been a long time coming," he said. "We've been waiting for this, but all week I was really confident, with the only slight worry being whether she would get a clear passage and not get blocked.

"Frankie is a master. This sport is so unpredictable, but I never lost faith that one day I would win a Group One."

The Italian's dream spell started last weekend, with Authorized giving him a first success at the 15th attempt in the premier English classic, the Vodafone Derby at Epsom.

He then travelled to Chantilly for the French equivalent 24 hours later and won on Lawman.

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