07/17/2011 5:14PM

Blue Bunting finishes fast to take Irish Oaks


Blue Bunting rallied from fifth in the final quarter-mile to win Sunday’s Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh, her second major trophy of the year.

Blue Bunting won the English 1000 Guineas in May. In between, she finished fourth in the English Oaks, just missing third after jockey Frankie Dettori did not ride her to the wire. He was given a 10-day suspension for the incident.

Dettori made no such mistakes in deep stretch of the Irish Oaks.

Blue Bunting, the 5-2 second choice, seemed beaten in the final furlong, but showed a remarkable turn of foot to catch 8-1 Banimpire in the final stride of the race over 1 1/2 miles on a yielding turf course.

Banimpire, who won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, took the lead with two furlongs remaining and finished a half-length in front of Wonder of Wonders, the 5-4 favorite.

Wonder of Wonders, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was second in the English Oaks last month behind Dancing Rain, who could only finish fifth of nine in the Irish Oaks.

Blue Bunting is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing and trained by Mahmood al Zarooni. A Kentucky-bred filly by Dynaformer, Blue Bunting has won 4 of 6 starts. She could return in the Yorkshire Oaks at York on Aug. 18, a race over 1 1/2 miles on turf that is open to older fillies and mares.