Assessing Frankie Dettori's biggest wins in his final year racing in Britain - The Coventry Observer

Assessing Frankie Dettori's biggest wins in his final year racing in Britain

Coventry Editorial 2nd Nov, 2023   0

Whether you love him or loathe him, there’s no denying that Frankie Dettori has been one of the star attractions in British flat racing for a number of decades.

This season was often billed as his farewell tour by the media. However, the Italian decided to reverse his decision and now heads to the United States to race full-time out of California.

Given the mass amounts of fuss made over him throughout the campaign, that left many racegoers this side of the Atlantic rather bemused.

Regardless, it’s still claimed that British Champions Day at Ascot was Dettori’s final race day in Britain.

Take that with a pinch of salt. But for now, let’s recap the best wins of his final year racing in Britain.

2000 Guineas

The Guineas meeting at Newmarket raises the curtain on the flat racing season, and Dettori kicked things off with a bang when winning the 2000 Guineas aboard Chaldean. Auguste Rodin was the favourite with those betting on sports. But the Aidan O’Brien horse suffered interference and never travelled, coming home in 12th.

Meanwhile, Chaldean was prominent throughout, was ridden to lead going into the final furlong, and kept on to win by almost two lengths from 125/1 outsider Hi Royal.

Coronation Cup/Oaks double

Fast forward about a month to the Derby Festival at Epsom in early June. By this stage, Dettori had added three Group 3 victories and a Group 2 win to his seasonal record.

He had another day to remember on Ladies’ Day here, however, winning the Group 1 Coronation Cup aboard Emily Upjohn before landing another British Classic in the form of the Oaks aboard Soul Sister.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained filly was the second favourite behind O’Brien’s odds-on chance Savethelastdance. But the Coolmore horse was no match for Soul Sister, as she won by nearly two lengths under Dettori to gift him his seventh Oaks success.

Gold Cup

It might not be a Classic, but the Ascot Gold Cup is still a preeminent fixture in British flat racing — and it has always been an important race for Dettori.

That’s why it was fantastic to see the Italian win the prestigious race for a ninth time aboard Courage Mon Ami.

Dettori, who won the Group 2 Queen’s Vase in the Wathnan Racing silks with Gregory just 24 hours earlier, waited for his moment to strike in the same colours on Courage Mon Ami. He made a move four furlongs out, led one furlong out and pushed on to win three-quarters of a length from Coltrane.

Juddmonte International

With Shadwell’s regular rider Jim Crowley serving a lengthy ban for exceeding the whip limit when winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes aboard Hukum at Ascot in July, Dettori was awarded the ride of Mostahdaf in the Juddmonte International Stakes.

Fancied at 3/1 in the sports tips, the five-year-old made all the running in the one-mile, two-and-a-half-furlong Group 1 to beat Nashwa by a length at York. 4/6 favourite Paddington was back in third, with The Foxes last.

Sun Chariot

Inspiral is a horse Dettori has a fantastic relationship with, and it’s fitting that he won a fifth Grade 1 in her saddle in the form of the Sun Chariot on what was his final appearance at Newmarket — flat racing’s headquarters.

The Gosden-trained filly went off as the 10/11 favourite and she made light work of her opposition as the odds suggested, going clear over one furlong out and allowing Dettori to ease toward the finish for a win of nearly four lengths.

Champions Day double

As already mentioned, Champions Day is claimed to have been Dettori’s final race day in the United Kingdom — and he signed off with two big wins at Ascot.

The legendary jockey opened his account on the card with a win on 9/1 shot Trawlerman in the opening race of the day, the Long Distance Cup.

And, he made it a double when winning the feature, the Champions Stakes, on King Of Steel. The 3/1 chance was the only winning favourite of the day, beating Via Sistina by three-quarters of a length.

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