West Wind Breezes to French Oaks Victory

West Wind Breezes to French Oaks Victory
Photo: AP/Remy de la Mauviniere
West Wind gives Frankie Dettori his third Classic win in just over a week.
Frankie Dettori captured his third Classic win in just over a week when the lightly-raced West Wind powered her way to an authoritative 1 1/2-length victory in the Prix de Diane Hermes (Fr-I) at Chantilly on Sunday.

The Italian began his hot streak last Saturday, when Authorized dashed to victory in the Vodafone Derby (Eng-I). The next day, Dettori rode Lawman to success in the French equivalent, the Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I).

The win in the French Oaks also marked trainer Alex Pantall’s first group I victory. “It’s been a long time coming,” Pantall said afterwards. “We’ve been waiting for this, but all week I was really confident with the only slight worry about whether she would get a clear passage and not get blocked, but Frankie is a master.”

West Wind, a chestnut daughter of Machiavellian, settled in mid-division behind pacesetter Mrs. Lindsay throughout much of the ten furlong race. Mrs Lindsay and Johnny Murtagh continued to show the way, as Dettori and West Wind had to weave their way through the congested field.  

With just under two furlongs left to run, Mrs Lindsay was beginning to tire. West Wind burst through an opening and rolled by the pair as though they were standing still. Mrs Lindsay held on for second, a neck in front of Diyakalanie.

West Wind is out of the stakes-winning Nureyev mare, Red Slippers. She hails from the rich female family of champion filly Balanchine, who became just the tenth filly ever to win the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I) in 1994.

West Wind races in the maroon and white colors of her owner Sheikh Mohammed. She was bred in England by Darley.

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