BLUE BUNTING led for one stride in the Irish Oaks but it was the stride that mattered as she nailed Banimpire on the line in a desperately tight finish to the Curragh Classic.
Frankie Dettori was trapped without much room inside the final furlong but his mount stayed on powerfully to catch the ultra-tough Banimpire, who would not let Laughing Lashes and Wonder Of Wonders past.
With victory, Dettori helped atone for his ride on Blue Bunting in the Investec Oaks when he was caught out by the slow pace before dropping his hands on the line to lose third place.
Dettori was not in the mood for defeat on this occasion and switched his runner to the outside. She hit top gear and got her head in front just in time.
The winning rider admitted the race did not go to plan again and said: “It was a bit of mess [at Epsom]. I knew she had a great chance today but when I was stuck behind the other horses I was really struggling.
“As a last resort I switched to the outside and once she saw a bit of daylight, she picked up and it worked out well in the end.”
He added: “I didn’t know I had won until I passed the line. I had to ask Kevin [Manning on Banimpire]. The Yorkshire Oaks looks the obvious plan.”
The Luca Cumani-trained Seta, a possible favourite, was a non-runner and the withdrawal of the British raider left the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wild Wind clear favourite for the Group 3, but the Ballydoyle runner was comprehensively upstaged by the enthusiastic performances of the two Oxx horses.
Niall McCullagh kicked Manieree into an early lead and stretched four lengths clear of Eirnin, who in turn raced about a length in front of second-favourite Claiomh Solais and Wild Wind.
The quick-footed leader maintained her comfortable four-length cushion until the 2f pole after which the pursuing pack began to make inroads into her lead.
Wild Wind and Claiomh Solais took up the pursuit from Eirnin at the furlong marker but it was Kirinda who came closest to the front-runner with a dash from deep that took her within two lengths of the winner.
“We decided to set out and make it a grind and it worked. She was getting tired in the closing stages but held on and I’m delighted for her patient owner [Max Morris],” said Oxx.
“She loves it heavy and ideally would like a bit further so it’s been a bit frustrating finding a race for her.”
FIRE LILY overcame her trainer David Wachman’sdoubt about the soft ground to beat the boys and give her jockey Wayne Lordan a fourth winner in the last five runnings of this race
Maiden winner Zip Top had started the day as favourite for trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning but was an uneasy market leader, eventually being usurped as favourite by Fire Lily.
Fourth in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last time, Fire Lily tracked through Boris Grigoriev in his first time blinkers while British runner Fulbright made the running up the near rail.
Even at this early stage Zip Top was not travelling like a winner. Green and slightly awkward, he came under pressure only a couple of furlongs into the race and eventually dropped right out.
Boris Grigoriev was first to go for home and initally caught his rivals napping. However, 11-4 favourite Fire Lily quickened smartly to catch the leader and had enough to see off the late challenge of After and Ryan Moore.
Wachman, who won the 2008 running of the Anglesey with Bushranger, said: “We never worked her on soft ground, so I didn’t know how she’d get on today. She did it well though. She’s in the Moyglare and all the big races at the end in the autumn.
“She ran well in the Queen Mary, but was outpaced in the middle of the race before staying on again and we hadn’t done much with her since.”