There was no joy for Frankie Dettori as So Moonstruck had to settle for third behind Sammarco in a thrilling finish to the IDEE 153rd Deutsches Derby at Hamburg on Sunday.
The Italian was looking for his second win in the German Classic having ridden Temporal to victory in 1991, but it was Bauyrzhan Murzabayev aboard Sammarco who landed the spoils to hand trainer Peter Schiergen his sixth victory in the race.
Dettori was to the fore early aboard the 100-30 favourite, in a race that was delayed for almost 30 minutes as ground staff realigned the running rail near the starting stalls, and the 51-year-old was soon tracking long-time leader Angelino alongside the eventual winner and the Andreas Wöhler-trained Maraseem.
Fellow British-based jockey Jack Mitchell on Dapango loomed into contention as the race entered the home straight with the duo momentarily hitting the front, but it was Sammarco and the Markus Klug-trained pair of So Moonstruck and the fast-finishing Schwarzer Peter (second) that fought out the finish in the closing stages with the judge calling for a photo to separate the trio.
Hollie Doyle’s mount Wagnis was in the rear throughout and could only finish 11th.
Although there was no joy for Klug in the feature event, he saddled a one-two in the supporting Mehl Mulhens-Trophy as Doyle and Well Disposed got the better of Dettori and the favourite Mountaha by a length and a half in the one-mile-three-furlong Group Three.