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ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Anthony Oppenheimer’s Star Catcher outkicked the coverage with an impressive effort to win Thursday’s Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) on Day 3 of the Royal Ascot meet.
Breaking from post 11 under Frankie Dettori at 9/2 stateside odds, Star Catcher settled into mid-pack one lane off of the rail while Peach Tree led the way early. Dettori steered Star Catcher out to the middle of the lane and began to put her to work as the field neared the top of the stretch.
Under a steady drive, Star Catcher took command at the 2-furlong marker and never looked back. The John Gosden trainee crossed with a 1 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 2:33.52 for the 12-furlong event.
“It can’t get any better than having three winners in the first three races on Gold Cup day,” said Dettori, who clinched the treble after winning the Norfolk Stakes (G2) and the Hampton Court Stakes (G3). “I wasn’t sure Star Catcher would win as (Gosden) had four in the race, but she did it well.”
Fleeting was up for second by 1 1/2 lengths over Sparkle Roll. The rest of the field crossed thusly: Queen Power, Love So Deep, Frankellina, Fresnel, Shambolic, Fanny Logan, Peach Tree, and Altair.
Star Catcher’s win was her second of the year, having broken her maiden on April 12 at Newbury before finishing third over the same course on May 18. The 3-year-old daughter of Sea The Stars sports an overall record of 4-2-0-1.
“Star Catcher broke her maiden at Newbury and Frankie got straight off her and said don’t go for the (G1 Investec) Oaks, go for the Ribblesdale, because she hasn’t yet got the strength for the Oaks,” Gosden said. “The pace was a bit slow when she ran in that Listed race at Newbury. Frankie said he went too slow, but I told him not to worry because she will stay well and has run a nice trial.”
Star Catcher returned $11.80 to win and $3.80 to place, Fleeting brought back $2.60 to place, and Sparkle Roll paid $6.40 to place.
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