Dettori opens up on glittering career – but no thoughts of retirement yet

Frankie Dettori has promised readers a telling insight into his personal life as well as his illustrious riding career following the publication of his autobiography ‘Leap of Faith’.

It has been 16 years since the Italian released ‘Frankie: The Autobiography’ and by his own admission, the intervening period has been a rollercoaster ride – both on and off the track.

Dettori said: “To be honest I didn’t really have any intentions of writing another book, but everybody was asking me to do one and a lot has happened since 2005.

“I decided to go ahead and do it, especially as during the pandemic I had a lot of time on my hands.

“It was quite fun and cringeworthy at the same time, looking back at all things that have happened to me over the last 17 years – it’s quite mad really.”

In his book, the most famous man in British racing covers it all – from finally breaking his Derby duck aboard Authorized to the well-publicised drugs ban which threatened to derail everything.

In a real-life story of brilliant highs and troubling lows, Dettori tells an intimate tale that charts the rise, the fall and the comeback of a proud family man and riding genius.

“I didn’t want to write a book about how many winners I’ve ridden and all that stuff. There’s more to it than that,” he continued.

“It’s more about the events of my life in these last few years. I wanted to share it with the people.

“It’s been a colourful life. I’ve had some ups and some downs and it’s all there.

“It’s an entertaining read.”

Horse Racing – 2015 Investec Derby Festival – Derby Day – Epsom Racecourse
Golden Horn won the 2015 Derby for Dettori (David Davies/PA)

Highlights include a vivid recollection of Dettori’s “best and most exciting moment” after his second Derby aboard the Golden Horn, while a whole chapter is dedicated to the superstar mare Enable.

The Sardinian will be celebrating his 51st birthday in a matter of weeks, but there is no sign his powers are on the wane following another stellar campaign that included his 20th and 21st Classic wins.

“I’ve had a great year really. Obviously I had no Enable, but nevertheless I’ve won two Classics and 14 Group Ones, so it’s been really good.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m close to 51 now and I love what I do, which is the most important thing,” he said.

Dettori and Enable carried all before them for four seasons
Dettori and Enable carried all before them for four seasons (Nigel French/PA)

The release of an autobiography, as well as an upcoming documentary, might lead some to believe Dettori is preparing to bring the curtain down.

However, it seems there are at least another couple of chapters to be written yet.

He said: “I’ve got plenty going on. Obviously there’s the book and I’ve got a documentary coming out in November. It’s all good.

“At the moment it (retirement) is not on my mind. I still enjoy what I’m doing. Health-wise I’m still pretty good and I’m pretty fit. I have no intention of stopping.

“I haven’t put a date or time on it, I don’t know, but at the moment I’m still enjoying it.

“Old people like me will tell you that the years go quicker and quicker now! I don’t know whether it’s because I’m enjoying it more or because time flies when you get old, but at the moment I’m loving it and I’m just going to carry on.”

Angel Bleu secures Group One double at Saint-Cloud

Angel Bleu came from last to first to complete a French Group One double in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Three weeks on from winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day at ParisLongchamp, Ralph Beckett’s charge was a 15-8 chance in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

The Italian was happy to bide his time at the rear of the field and in the slipstream of the Andre Fabre-trained Ancient Rome, who had finished third in the Lagardere and was the marginal favourite to exact his revenge at 11-8.

But Angel Bleu quickened up smartly when popped the question to grab the lead – and while Ancient Rome did his best to make a race of it, the British raider was ultimately too strong.

“He’s very tough, he really is,” Beckett told Sky Sports Racing.

“It was a terrific effort, to come back less than three weeks after (the Lagardere) and do it again.

“He really was the best again today. There were no excuses for anybody.

“He’s just an extraordinarily tough horse and talented with it.”

Betfair trimmed Angel Bleu’s odds for next year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket to 12-1 from 16-1, although Beckett feels the French equivalent – the Poule d’Essai des Poulains – could be more likely.

Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the performance of Angel Bleu at Saint-Cloud
Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the performance of Angel Bleu at Saint-Cloud (Mike Egerton/PA)

He added: “We’ll worry about next year next year and enjoy today. We’ll get the celebrating out of the way first!

“I’d say, if I was going to bet on it, he’ll be back here for the Poulains.”

There was further top-level success for Britain in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, with El Bodegon providing Newmarket handler James Ferguson with his first Group One victory.

A previous winner at Sandown in July and in a Group Three at Chantilly last month, the Kodiac colt received an enterprising ride from the front by Ioritz Mendizabal.

Having been tracked Charlie Appleby’s previously unbeaten favourite Goldspur for much of the 10-furlong journey, El Bodegon kicked clear early in the home straight and was not for catching.

Aidan O’Brien’s Stone Age finished strongly to beat Goldspur to the runner-up spot, with Joseph O’Brien’s Buckaroo fourth to complete a clean sweep for the raiding party.

On claiming his first Group One success, Ferguson said: “It’s pretty incredible. I couldn’t quite work out what was going on with a furlong to go.

“We love the horse and from his last win we planned that this was where we were going to go, but being in front with a furlong to go wasn’t really part of my planning.

“I thought he’d have to work very hard, (but) he’s obviously improved with every run and he takes travelling very well.

“I thought he was given a great ride and he relaxed very well in front. Credit to the team at home and the owners. To be able to reward them like this is mega.

“His full-brother Best Solution got better with age. This horse is not overly big, but there’s a lot of presence about him and it’s very exciting to wonder what we might have next year as I can’t see him not improving.

“He’s going to carry a Group One penalty now and I think you have to aim high with a horse like this.”

Dettori hails Palace Pier as champion miler retires

Frankie Dettori hailed Palace Pier as “one of the best milers I’ve ridden” after the top-class colt was retired to stand at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.

Palace Pier won five Group One races for John and Thady Gosden, including the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville in 2020 and 2021.

The son of Kingman is only the third horse to record back-to-back victories in the Deauville showpiece – after Miesque in 1987 and 1988 and Spinning World in 1996 and 1997.

Palace Pier is also a dual winner at Royal Ascot, having taken last season’s St James’s Palace Stakes and this year’s Queen Anne, while his other top-level triumph came in the Lockinge at Newbury in May.

The four-year-old won nine of his 11 career starts, with both defeats coming in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot- finishing third to The Revenant in 2020 and filling the runner-up spot to Baaeed on what proved to be his final outing on Qipco Champions Day last weekend.

Dettori, who was on board for all but one of his competitive appearances, told PA Media: “Palace Pier has been a great champion and is probably one of the best milers I’ve ridden.

“Things didn’t go our way on Saturday, but he’s done nothing wrong in his career – and he’ll be a great asset to Darley Stud.”

Frankie Dettori performs his trademark flying dismount after winning the Queen Anne Stakes on Palace Pier
Frankie Dettori performs his trademark flying dismount after winning the Queen Anne Stakes on Palace Pier (PA)

Palace Pier’s total prize-money earnings came to £1,776,794.

Darley director of stallions Sam Bullard said: “Palace Pier is a wonderful horse to look at – and he’s even more impressive in full flight. He’s dominated the hugely competitive mile division for two seasons. He’s a very rare talent and we are privileged to be standing him.”

A stud fee for Palace Pier will be announced at a later date.

‘Frankie factor’ has bookmakers on red alert at Ascot

Bookmakers are wary of their old nemesis Frankie Dettori on what promises to be a vintage Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.

One of the main talking points on a card featuring a host of equine stars in action might be the climax of the battle for the jockeys’ title between Oisin Murphy and William Buick – but bookmakers fear the ‘Frankie factor’ back at his beloved Ascot.

With the 25th anniversary of his ‘Magnificent Seven’ that turned the betting industry upside down fresh in the memory, the Italian could again have a major say in the headlines at a track that brings out the best in him.

He has just the four rides, but Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Sunray Major in the Balmoral Handicap are favourites – and the warning lights will start flashing should he land the opening Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup on the hugely popular Stradivarius.

Kinross is the biggest price of the Dettori quartet but cannot be discounted in the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

“We always fear the ‘Frankie factor’ regarding multiples when it comes to the big days, and Saturday is no different with the strong book of rides he has,” said Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield.

“The fact he doesn’t have a full book makes it much less of a concern, although if the first three go in then the Balmoral Handicap could be a difficult watch for us with Sunray Major very much fancied in this competitive handicap.

“It is interesting Palace Pier is odds against for the first time in his last six races. Punters could get behind him as it’s a nice price.”

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “We are always nervous when it comes to Frankie Dettori on Champions Day for obvious reasons, and although he hasn’t got a full book of rides he still has a very strong hand.

“We have already seen support for all four of his mounts and that should really ramp up come tomorrow.”

Stradivarius could give Frankie Dettori a flying start on Champions Day
Stradivarius could give Frankie Dettori a flying start on Champions Day (Nigel French/PA)

Dettori gave Sporting Index the rundown on his four mounts, starting with Stradivarius, who will try to turn the tables on Trueshan, who beat him in the Prix du Cadran.

“Of course, we were disappointed to come second in Paris, but he still ran a good race. Stradivarius takes his racing well and seems ready for a rematch with Trueshan,” he said.

“I have plenty of respect for Trueshan, who is a very good horse under extreme conditions, but I think now that the ground is going to be better at Ascot that will help bridge the gap and make things more of a level playing field.”

Dettori feels Kinross has an each-way chance in a race that holds fond memories.

“I remember winning this race back in the day as an 18-year-old on Chummy’s Favourite for Neville Callaghan. He was 40-1 that day and it was one of my first Group winners. Then on Diffident, who was the second winner in my ‘Magnificent Seven’ in 1996,” he went on.

“I ride Kinross here, who drops back to a sprint trip. We’ve been campaigning him over seven furlongs to a mile, but I think the stiff six at Ascot will be up his street. The softer the ground the better for him, so maybe with conditions drying out that’s against him.

“There are others in the race that have better profiles, but I’m just hoping we get a cleaner run than last time in the Prix de la Foret and, if so, he could get placed.

Dettori expects a mighty run from Palace Pier despite the presence of a highly-progressive rival in Baaeed.

“I love Palace Pier, he’s done absolutely nothing wrong his whole career. The only race he has been beaten in is this one last year, when he lost a shoe and I got squeezed out at the start. He was so far back, and with everything that went wrong that day it was a massive run to come home third,” he said.

“I have almighty respect for Baaeed, but Palace Pier has beaten everything that he has faced. He’s a champion and probably one of the best milers I have ever ridden so I have confidence he will put in a huge performance.”

Dettori signs off on the strongly-fancied Sunray Major, who could be a handicap snip in the Balmoral.

“We always thought a bit of him as a three-year-old. He had 18 months off but has come back and I’ve won on him at Chelmsford and then at Ascot. He’s got loads of potential and who knows how far he could go?” he added.

“The thing with the Balmoral is that there are 20 runners, and a low draw can be key. At this time of year, the best part of the track tends to be the far side, so if you are drawn high, as I was with Lord North in this race a few years ago, it can be a big disadvantage. Unfortunately, we’re in stall 21 and we’ll need plenty of luck from there.”

Inspiral powers to Fillies’ Mile victory

Inspiral maintained her unbeaten run and strengthened her Classic credentials with an impressive performance in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

Leading two furlongs out, the John and Thady Gosden-trained juvenile pulled clear of her rivals to complete a four-timer in the Group One feature.

Frankie Dettori – winning the race for a record-extending seventh time – settled the 8-11 favourite behind Cachet in the centre of the course in the early stages while the rest of the field were towards the far rail.

Three furlongs out, the two groups came together and Dettori did not wait long to make his challenge.

Inspiral quickened away in great style to score by two and a half lengths from Prosperous Voyage, with Cachet a neck away in third and Mise En Scene a never-nearer fourth.

A Cheveley Park Stud-owned daughter of Frankel, Inspiral was cut to 3-1 favourite for the Qipco 1000 Guineas and to 5-1 for the Cazoo Oaks with Coral. Betfair made her 7-2 from 6s for the Guineas and 6-1 from 8s for the Oaks.

Dettori said: “She doesn’t stop surprising me, she travelled like the winner, she travelled real good. She’s a beauty and has still got plenty to fill up in the winter.

“She went into the dip and came out of it well. I was tracking James (Doyle, on Cachet) and he was matching the other side so I knew I wasn’t losing any ground.

“At the three (furlong pole) I tried to join the others, I sat wide and then coming out of the dip I asked her to quicken and she came out of it pretty well.

“Obviously she’s very good – I don’t have to say that, she’s won everything. I knew I had it won a long way out.

“She’s done nothing wrong, I’m very excited and we can think of the Guineas next year.”

Gosden senior said: “She won well in the May Hill and was pretty professional there, I think she’s learning all the time.

“She travelled well into the dip and you’d have to be very happy, she took it well and she’s getting stronger all the time.

“We’ll start her off in a trial or go straight to the Guineas on the back of a gallop. It’s a long way off, all I know is she won’t be going to Del Mar!”

Inspiral stretches clear
Inspiral stretches clear (Tim Goode/PA)

He added: “It’s great for an owner/breeder to have a filly of this quality.

“All the way through she did everything very easily and when we ran her on the July Course she’d only ever been on the bridle, but she showed her class straight away. She’s a filly that would be easy to over-train.

“She’s by Frankel, she’ll get 10 furlongs but beyond that I don’t know, there’s a question mark.

“She’s was fine on that good ground today on the course, I wouldn’t know about good to firm.”

Unbeaten Inspiral to face eight in Fillies’ Mile

Inspiral, emphatic winner of the May Hill Stakes, heads a field of nine for the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

The daughter of Frankel, trained by John and Thady Gosden and current favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas, steps up to Group One company after taking her 100 per cent record to three in the Group Two at Doncaster last month.

Frankie Dettori, who has ridden Inspiral to victory in her last two starts, is seeking his seventh win in this race,

“She has won her maiden, won a Listed race and won her Group Two last time out and now we will try to win that Group One with her,” said the Italian.

“She has done nothing wrong so far and she is taking the usual progression after winning a Group Two to have a go at a Group One.

“I was really taken by her at Sandown. She won really well, and I later rode the horse that finished second in that race, Wild Beauty, to win next time out in Canada – so that is good form. We then went to Doncaster, and she won again.

“She has got a great physique and lots of scope – and she is not the finished article by any means. She is kind and talented, and we expect her to progress over the winter. It is all positive stuff.

“She is well bred, has got lots of scope, and this was always the target to go for this race afterwards. Everything we have asked of her so far, she has done, and hopefully that will continue here.”

The Gosdens have a second string in Bouquet, winner of a novice race at Ascot a month ago.

The James Ferguson-trained Mise En Scene also puts her unbeaten record on the line on Friday after two wins, the latest coming in the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.

Wild Beauty, beaten three lengths by Inspiral in Listed company at Sandown in July, re-opposes on the back of a Grade One success in Canada last month.

Aidan O’Brien’s Concert Hall and Jessica Harrington’s Magical Lagoon are the two Irish-trained entries – while Agartha was the only withdrawal at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

Pearl Glory, runner-up in the Dick Poole Stakes, bids to go one better at Group Three level in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes.

Kevin Philippart de Foy’s youngster just found Romantic Time a length too good at Salisbury, having won her first two starts.

Karl Burke’s Gifted Gold and Ralph Beckett’s Good American are both one from one, while Allayaali has won two of her three races.

Mise En Scene (right) is set to put her unbeaten record on the line at Newmarket
Mise En Scene (right) is set to put her unbeaten record on the line at Newmarket (Adam Davy/PA)

There is no French representation after Francis Graffard’s Malavath was withdrawn following the final declaration stage, and Andre Fabre did not take up Raclette’s entry.

Smart sprinter Garrus steps up to seven furlongs for the first time in the Group Two Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes.

The Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old has contested three Group Ones over six furlongs this season, and is a Group Three winner at that distance.

Among the nine declared are the Charlie Appleby-trained pair of Al Suhail and D’bai, who was third in this race in 2018.

Richard Hannon’s Chindit and Horoscope, from the O’Brien team at Ballydoyle, are the two three-year-olds taking part.

Twilight Jet drops down in class and trip for the Group Three Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes.

The Michael O’Callaghan-trained juvenile was not disgraced when fifth in the Group One Middle Park Stakes on this course last month, having finished third in both the Gimcrack and Champagne Stakes.

Hugo Palmer’s Hierarchy, second in the Mill Reef Stakes, is also among the 13 runners.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Soft Whisper, who made a triumphant return in the Listed Rosemary Stakes following a 181-day absence, is one of 15 declared for an open-looking Group Three Newmarket Pony Academy Pride Stakes.

Dettori teams up with Murtagh as Bellewstown remembers Barney Curley

Frankie Dettori will ride for his former weighing room colleague Johnny Murtagh in a special race run in memory of Barney Curley at Bellewstown on Thursday.

The Italian is among 14 jockeys declared to take part in the Gannons City Recovery And Recycling Services Ltd Supporting DAFA Handicap, with all monies raised donated to Curley’s charity, Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA), which he set up in 1996 to support the underprivileged people of Zambia.

Dettori will partner the Murtagh-trained Trueba in the seven-and-a-half-furlong contest.

Frankie Dettori (left) and Johnny Murtagh are old weighing room pals
Frankie Dettori (left) and Johnny Murtagh are old weighing room pals (PA)

Jamie Spencer and Shane Kelly, also close friends of the late Curley, join Dettori on the trip across the Irish Sea to ride in the race, with Tom Queally also attending to support the raceday.

Murtagh said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the race and to have Frankie riding for me in Barney’s honour is a real thrill.

“Frankie is one of my best mates, he’s had a few rides, but he hasn’t ridden a winner for me yet!

“I went out to Zambia with Barney many years ago and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve seen at first hand the work the charity does, and it makes such a difference to the lives of so many people.”

He went on: “Barney was a great man, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed his company, the wonderful stories he told will live long in my memory.”

Champion jockey Colin Keane and leading rider Wayne Lordan are also among the riders taking part.

The saddlecloths have all been sponsored to raise money for DAFA and were allocated to the declared horses in a draw that took place at Bellewstown on Tuesday morning.

‘It was mad, absolutely mad’ – Dettori relives Magnificent Seven

Frankie Dettori is as much in the public psyche today as he was 25 years ago – when a racing miracle happened.

The Italian, 25 at the time, achieved what seemed impossible by going through a seven-race card at Ascot on September 28, 1996.

In typical Dettori fashion it happened not at an average meeting, but on one of the biggest days of the year – the Festival of British Racing, and forerunner of Champions Day.

Mark Of Esteem (right) and Frankie get up to beat Bosra Sham in the QEII
Mark Of Esteem (right) and Frankie get up to beat Bosra Sham in the QEII (Adam Butler/PA)

Dettori was already the reigning champion jockey, so the ‘Magnificent Seven’ – as inevitably coined – was not the launching pad for his career but more of a sonic boost which has lasted for the next quarter of a century and will doubtless go far beyond.

The once-in-a-lifetime achievement catapulted him from well-known jockey to household name. He became a regular on television, hosting BBC’s Top of the Pops and becoming a captain on A Question Of Sport. He had his own brands of food and went into restaurant ownership with chef Marco Pierre White – among other trappings associated with a superstar.

Dettori’s autobiography, published in 2004, has been updated and is due out next month.

At this time of year, his Ascot feat is always a big talking point. The passing years have not dimmed the memory, nor the interest in an extraordinary occurrence.

“It does seem 25 years when I watch the replays! Mind you, what a day. And now I’m 50,” he said.

“It was that day made me famous. I watched the replays the other day, because I was doing a documentary.

“It’s what dreams are made of. You can’t put your head round it, how the thing happened.

“It was mad, absolutely mad. At least it gave the sport a good lift. Usually it’s all about negative stuff – it was nice to have some positive stuff.

“To me, it was my turning point really.”

Dettori knew he had a good book of rides and realistic hopes of a double or a treble – but going through the card at accumulative odds of 25,095-1 was not even dream territory.

Wall Street (2-1 favourite) got the ball rolling in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, and appropriately an estimated £30 million ‘crash’ was already in the making for bookmakers.

Diffident (left) and Frankie in full flight
Diffident (left) and Frankie in full flight (PA)

Diffident (12-1) swiftly followed in the Diadem Stakes – with Mark of Esteem (100-30) then taking the big race of the day, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

There was no stopping Dettori now. With his confidence sky high after that Group One triumph, he guided top-weight Decorated Hero (7-1) to a convincing victory over 25 rivals in the Tote Festival Handicap.

After he had steered Fatefully (7-4 favourite) to a narrow success in the Rosemary Stakes, Lochangel (5-4 joint-favourite) took Dettori within touching distance of history by winning the Blue Seal Stakes.

Expectation reached fever pitch come the concluding Gordon Carter Handicap. The BBC captured the moment by interrupting its traditional Grandstand coverage to broadcast the live action from Ascot as bookies slashed the odds for Dettori’s final mount, Fujiyama Crest.

With the layers’ liabilities sky high and punters’ faith in the ‘Frankie Factor’, Fujiyama Crest was sent off the 2-1 favourite – having started the day at 12-1. Leading from the start, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge held off the late challenge of Northern Fleet and Pat Eddery by a neck to seal Dettori’s place in the history books.

Dettori’s feat was unmatched, topping the previous best on six-race cards by Sir Gordon Richards at Chepstow in 1933 and Alec Russell at the long defunct Bogside in 1957. Ascot even erected a statue of Dettori to mark the unprecedented events.

A picture that says it all
A picture that says it all (Adam Butler/PA)

His career went from strength to strength after that defining day, too.

Dettori became champion jockey for a third time in 2004, ended his Derby hoodoo on Authorized in 2007 – and in recent seasons has ridden such popular champions as Enable and Stradivarius.

At the age of 50, his appetite for winners, and his love for racing, has not diminished – with any talk of retirement very much remaining on the backburner, as the big winners keep on coming.

Dettori seeks Cambridgeshire vindication on Magical Morning

Frankie Dettori will have to wait and see if he made the right choice in opting to ride Magical Morning in the bet365 Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.

The Italian could have ridden fellow John and Thady Gosden inmate and ante-post favourite Uncle Bryn in Saturday’s big handicap feature, but instead plumped for Magical Morning – causing a reshuffle in the market following declarations.

Magical Morning is saddled with second top-weight of 9st 8lb following his narrow second to Cruyff Turn in a York handicap last month, and Thady Gosden has expressed a minor concern that the good to firm ground may not be ideal for the four-year-old.

He said: “Frankie has obviously ridden both horses plenty – it was up to him to decide, and in the end he went for Magical Morning.

“The ground might be on the quick side for Magical Morning, but hopefully he’ll handle it OK.”

Uncle Bryn will be ridden by Robert Havlin
Uncle Bryn will be ridden by Robert Havlin (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Uncle Bryn, who will be ridden by Robert Havlin, started the season as a Classic hope – but was gelded in May and returned to action with a front-running Ascot handicap success at the start of this month.

Gosden expects conditions to be in his favour, but would struggle to split the Clarehaven runners.

He added: “The ground should suit Uncle Bryn, I think.

“There’s probably not much between them. It just depends how it plays out on the day. Magical Morning has got plenty of weight as well, obviously.”

Astro King (second left) on his way to victory at Nottingham in April
Astro King (second left) on his way to victory at Nottingham in April (Tim Goode/PA)

Astro King is among the leading lights for Sir Michael Stoute after a season which has seen him turn in just one unplaced effort in five starts, when well down the field in the John Smith’s Cup at York.

The four-year-old had previously chased home Group Three winner Real World in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and was last seen finishing third, beaten just a length by Magical Morning, at York last month.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Saeed Suhail, said: “He’s a horse that doesn’t show up much at home – he doesn’t do much, but his form on the racecourse is pretty good. He likes fast ground, so hopefully it stays fast.

“I think it’s the most difficult race to win, but hopefully he’s in with a good shout.

“You can’t say anything on his homework – but I think Sir Michael Stoute is very happy with his well-being, and he’s very fit.

“I think his last run was good form – he’s certainly better on a racecourse than at home.”

Astro King is in stall 17, and Raymond added: “I’ll let Ryan (Moore) worry about the draw – he’s the driver, we’re the engineer!”

Anmaat pictured before his Doncaster run
Anmaat pictured before his Doncaster run (Mike Egerton/PA)

Owen Burrows believes Anmaat has plenty in his favour as he bids to cap his season with victory in the ultra-competitive nine-furlong contest.

The three-year-old has won three of his five starts this term and is now rated 100, although he is able to race of 98 in this early-closing race.

That perch takes into account a 4lb penalty for winning at Doncaster last time out, beating the well-regarded Faisal by a length and three-quarters at the St Leger meeting.

Burrows is satisfied with Anmaat’s draw in stall 22, and expects the likely fast ground to suit the Awtaad gelding.

He said: “We’ve been very pleased with him since Doncaster. The ground looks like it’s drying out – it’s going to be on the fast side of good.

“I’m happy with where he’s drawn. He seems to have quite a few fancied horses drawn around him, which I think is important.

“We’re looking forward to running him.

“He’s a horse we’ve always liked. He won first time up this year at Lingfield, and then I thought he would go on from that. To be truthful, it just took a bit of time to find his level, but I think he’s improved from going up in trip.

“I think in general he’s improved – we seem to have found a bit of a key with him now, and hopefully that can continue tomorrow.”

Hollie Doyle will ride the well-backed Chichester
Hollie Doyle will ride the well-backed Chichester (Mike Egerton/PA)

Last week’s Ayr winner Chichester came in for a welter of support earlier in the week – and he will be ridden by Hollie Doyle for trainer Keith Dalgleish.

Saeed bin Suroor fields three for Godolphin, with the Marco Ghiani-ridden Long Tradition the shortest price as he is joined by Royal Marine – once a Group One-winning juvenile – and Bedouin’s Story.

Soft Whisper silences Rosemary Stakes rivals

The once formidable combination of Saeed bin Suroor and Frankie Dettori landed the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day EBF Rosemary Stakes at Newmarket with the returning Soft Whisper.

A dual winner at the Dubai Carnival at Meydan earlier this year, the daughter of Dubawi had been off the track since finishing lame when well fancied for the UAE Derby at the end of March.

Making her return from six months off the track in this one-mile Listed contest, the 13-2 chance travelled strongly and was well on top as she passed the post with a length and three-quarters in hand over Maamora.

Bin Suroor said: “She had a hard time in Dubai, but she has done well physically since then. She has improved and is much better than she was in Dubai.

“She’s a good filly who has always worked well and tries her best. I knew coming here today she had a good chance to win, which is why I booked Frankie to ride.

“She is entered in a Group One in France (Prix de l’Opera), but she is unlikely to run.

“I think it is more likely we will take her back to Dubai for races like the Balanchine.”

Dettori was completing a quickfire double after landing the opening Try Our New Super Boosts At Unibet British EBF Maiden, aboard John and Thady Gosden’s Spinaround (11-8).

Without A Fight led from start to finish in the Play Slingo Startburst At Unibet Godolphin Stakes.

Turning out three weeks after landing a Haydock handicap, Simon and Ed Crisford’s charge travelled well under Andrea Atzeni, who steadily raised the tempo.

Fox Tal loomed up looking a big threat – but not for the first time, did not go through with his challenge, and Without A Fight was almost three lengths to the good at the line.

“He won the last day, which was a nice confidence booster. The quick ground suits him, and a mile and a half seems to be his trip,” said Ed Crisford.

“We’ll have to see how he is and what the ground is like, but we could look at the Group Three St Simon Stakes (at Newbury), and he could be a horse for those mile-and-a-half races in Dubai next year.”

The concluding Unibet Casino Deposit £10 And Get £40 Bonus Handicap went to Chris Wall’s 18-1 shot Turntable, with Callum Shepherd the winning rider.

Dettori confident Snowfall can thrive at ParisLongchamp

Snowfall aims to make it a perfect five out of five for this season in the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly is looking to cement her position as favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe by winning her fourth successive Group One.

With Ryan Moore in action at the Curragh, Frankie Dettori has once again been called up by O’Brien, just as he was at Epsom for the Oaks.

Snowfall has followed a similar path to another great filly Dettori rode, Enable, in winning at Epsom, the Irish Oaks and then the Yorkshire Oaks – and the Italian can see the comparison.

“Snowfall is a champion. We can say that the ground was testing and that the opposition was average in the Oaks, but she won by 16 lengths – a record,” he said.

“She reminds me of Enable at the same age. I have ridden Snowfall just the once and the impression was amazing.

“At the Curragh she didn’t have to force her talent and, in the Yorkshire Oaks, she trotted up. It’s difficult to pinpoint her limits as she has won so easily each time.

“She had no problem in adapting to Epsom’s contours, so I think that ParisLongchamp won’t be a problem for her either.”

O’Brien also saddles Ioritz Mendizabal-ridden French Oaks winner Joan Of Arc, while Hollie Doyle rides La Joconde, just as she did when finishing third in the Yorkshire Oaks.

Snowfall was much too good for her rivals in the Yorkshire Oaks
Snowfall was much too good for her rivals in the Yorkshire Oaks (Nigel French/PA)

Of Snowfall, the Ballydoyle handler said: “Everything has gone well with Snowfall.

“We were delighted with her the last day at York and everything since then has gone well.

“The plan was, if she came out of that race well, to go for this race and it all seems fine at the moment.”

British hopes are carried by Roger Varian’s Teona, who was behind Snowfall in York’s Musidora Stakes and at Epsom, but has since returned to winning ways at Windsor.

Andre Fabre’s Burgarita, who was second to Thursday’s hugely impressive Doncaster winner Free Wind last time, also features.

Bolshoi Ballet bids to get back on the winning trail in the Prix Niel
Bolshoi Ballet bids to get back on the winning trail in the Prix Niel (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Prix Vermeille is one of three Arc trials on the card, with O’Brien represented by Bolshoi Ballet in the Prix Niel and Broome in the Prix Foy.

Bolshoi Ballet was a beaten favourite in the Derby at Epsom earlier in the year and has subsequently run twice in America – winning the Belmont Derby but finishing only fourth in the Saratoga equivalent.

“I thought Bolshoi Ballet ran very well at Saratoga, they went very fast for the first couple of furlongs but he ran a solid race. He’d won over 10 furlongs the time before and it was just a little shorter,” said O’Brien.

With a career-ending injury suffered on Friday morning ruling David Menuisier’s star filly Wonderful Tonight out of the Prix Foy, the biggest threat to Broome appears to be Jerome Reynier’s Skalleti.

Runner-up to Addeybb in last year’s Champion Stakes at Ascot, the six-year-old is unbeaten in four starts this year and tests the water over a mile and a half for the first time this weekend.

Reynier said: “It will open up some more options if he does stay a mile and a half. The Champion Stakes is definitely his main target this year, but we could be thinking of the Sheema Classic in Dubai with him next year if he’s happy with this trip.

“His full-brother Skazino is turning into a really good stayer, so we think our horse should be staying a mile and a half, especially when his running style means he can relax out the back.

“We’re quite hopeful. He needs a prep run before the Champion Stakes and rather than running in the Prix Dollar two weeks before this year, the plan is that he will go straight to Ascot after this.”

Reach For The Moon ready to test potential against Lusail

Reach For The Moon bids to confirm his top-level potential with victory in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Runner-up on his racecourse debut at Yarmouth in the spring, the Sea The Stars colt came close to providing the Queen with a Royal Ascot winner in June when pushing star Irish juvenile Point Lonsdale close in the Chesham Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s youngster has since impressed in winning a novice event at Newbury and the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown – and jockey Frankie Dettori is excited to see the colt test his powers at Group Two level on Saturday.

“In the last two races he hardly saw a horse, so this is the first big test,” said the Italian.

“We’re building him up, he’s getting more experience and he’s done nothing wrong so far.

“This horse is a work in progress at the moment. We’re keeping him busy. We feel the more experience he gets, the better he gets.

“Saturday will be another key point. I’ve got plenty of confidence in him. He’s exciting, and Her Majesty is our biggest asset in racing.”

The Queen looks on at Reach For The Moon after his run at Royal Ascot
The Queen looks on at Reach For The Moon after his run at Royal Ascot (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Reach For The Moon is already prominent in ante-post lists for next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby, but Dettori is not looking that far ahead at this stage.

He added: “Everybody is thinking about next year – I’m thinking one race at a time. Let’s get Saturday out of the way, and then progress.

“All the boxes are ticked, and everything is going in the right direction.

“After the Solario, myself and John felt the experience of racing is doing him good – and that is why we are getting him out.

“To have a colt of this calibre for the Queen is exciting. She saw the horse at Ascot. She comes to the yard a couple of times a year, and we are so lucky to have the Queen support the sport.”

Thady Gosden is similarly keen to get this weekend’s assignment out of the way before considering a potential Classic campaign in 2022.

He said: “He’s progressed nicely. He ran a good race at Ascot, he progressed in a novice and he won well at Sandown in the Solario.

“He goes to Doncaster in good form. It’s a very competitive race – there’s Lusail in there, who has plenty of speed and won the Gimcrack.

“It’s a long way away from the Derby at the moment – but he’s heading in the right direction, so hopefully he progresses.”

The biggest threat to Reach For The Moon appears to be the Richard Hannon-trained Lusail, who has already enjoyed two big-race victories this summer – Newmarket’s July Stakes and the Gimcrack at York.

“It looks a very good race and it always is,” said Hannon.

“Because it’s towards the end of the year it’s the clash of giants. I’m very happy with my horse. He’s won a Gimcrack, won a July Stakes – you don’t do that unless you’re a very good horse.

“It would obviously be easier without a penalty, but he carried a penalty in the Gimcrack and dealt with that no problem. He’s a big, strong horse and he will carry a big weight.

“He’s not just a two-year-old. I’ve always known he’d get seven furlongs, and maybe further. He’s a Guineas horse for next year, and you might even see some improvement at seven.

“Reach For The Moon looked a very good horse when he won the Solario. Our horse has done it twice at Group Two level now. He probably is the one to beat, but it’s a good race and very competitive.”

Bayside Boy remains an exciting prospect
Bayside Boy remains an exciting prospect (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Roger Varian’s Bayside Boy looked a high-class juvenile when making a winning start to his career at Newbury, since when he has been narrowly beaten by Masekela in the Listed Denford Stakes at the Berkshire circuit.

Varian said: “It’s a strong race, but we’re keen to give it a go.

“He’s in good order and should run very well.

“I think there’s more improvement to come from him.”

The field is completed by Michael O’Callaghan’s Irish raider Twilight Jet.

Stradivarius strolls to his second Doncaster Cup

Superstar stayer Stradivarius produced another imperious display to bag his second Doncaster Cup.

John and Thady Gosden’s seven-year-old has dominated the division in recent seasons, with his illustrious CV including three Gold Cups at Royal Ascot, four Goodwood Cups, three Lonsdale Cups and two Yorkshire Cups.

With his chief rival Trueshan missing this potential clash on account of unsuitable ground, Stradivarius was the 4-11 favourite to regain his crown on Town Moor – and the result was scarcely ever in doubt.

Given a confident ride by Frankie Dettori, the son of Sea The Stars cruised into contention in the home straight, with the popular Italian looking round for non-existent dangers as he moved alongside the front-running Nayef Road.

Once given his head, Stradivarius readily extended clear – passing the post with two and a half lengths in hand over Alerta Roja, who beat Nayef Road to the runner-up spot.

Gosden said: “He’s a wonderful horse. He’s been great at home. He’s enjoyed all his training. He loves his racing and likes coming racing.

“He’s a phenomenon.

Frankie Dettori celebrates with a flying dismount
Frankie Dettori celebrates with a flying dismount (PA)

“I had no qualms about coming here. He senses a horse coming to him and plays cat and mouse with them now.

“I couldn’t have been more thrilled with him. I’m sorry the other horse (Trueshan) didn’t run but maybe we’ll meet one day.

“He’s had a great season. He’s won three out of four. Frankie’s ride in the Gold Cup wasn’t his greatest. The winner was mighty impressive and the sad thing for me in the year is that we couldn’t run at Goodwood, because he adores Goodwood.

“His enthusiasm is there 100 per cent and I can assure everyone who loves him, the moment it’s not there he will be retired. Until that day comes, which he will tell us, he will race.”

Gosden is now considering the autumn options in France and Britain for Stradivarius.

He said: “There are two races in the autumn – the Cadran and Ascot (Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup). Ascot last year was heavy and he hated it. Those are the options. It will be one not both.

“He’ll go on summer soft but not when it goes autumn deep. He cannot take it. It was a mistake to run him in it last year and in the Arc.

“He lives a bit on the edge. He lets us know what he wants. I’ve always adored stayers and to train him is a dream come true.”

Dettori added: “That was great. It’s probably the easiest race he’s had since last year when he was here.

“He made it look easy again. He still loves his racing.”

Dettori all smiles with Doncaster treble – and Stradivarius to come

Frankie Dettori tuned up for the ride on his “favourite horse” Stradivarius with a fantastic treble on day two of the Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

The effervescent Italian proved there is still plenty of life in his 50-year-old body when partnering Inspiral and Free Wind to two easy victories in both Group Two races on the card.

But perhaps the victory which gave him the biggest thrill of the afternoon was that of Harrovian in the closing Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Conditions Stakes, having been sent off the outsider of the three runners at 7-2.

While William Buick’s mount Secret Protector dropped away as Dettori set the pace, Ryan Moore hit the front on Sinjaari – but to the winning jockey’s delight, Harrovian dug deep to get back up and prevail by a head.

“That was amazing. I thought he (Moore) had me beat, but in fairness he stuck his neck out,” said Dettori.

“All my friends are here today, and my wife, so they gave me a cheer – it’s been a good day.”

Casting his mind forward 24 hours to Friday’s feature, the Group Two Doncaster Cup, he added: “Strad is my favourite horse, and I can’t wait to ride him.”

Earlier, Inspiral strengthened her position at the head of the betting for the 1000 Guineas with a straightforward win in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes.

Inspiral was in complete command in the May Hill
Inspiral was in complete command in the May Hill (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She’s a work in progress, and I think she’ll be better next year when she strengthens up,” said Dettori.

“At the moment she’s all frame. I think that (Fillies’ Mile) is where we should go – and then she’s got all winter to strengthen up.

“Potentially she’s a Guineas horse.”

Free Wind, sent off the 15-8 favourite, put up a startling performance in the Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes – streaking seven lengths clear of her rivals.

Frankie Dettori produced his famous flying dismount after Free Wind won
Frankie Dettori produced his famous flying dismount after Free Wind won (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She hasn’t stopped improving. Wow, what a performance today – she’s improved a lot,” said Dettori.

“I suspect the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend will be next.

“I rode her on loose ground in Deauville, and good to firm today, and she’s getting better.

“She’s quite tiny – but she’s got a massive heart, with a big engine.”

All three winners were trained by John and Thady Gosden.

Dettori cherishing every moment with Doncaster-bound Stradivarius

Frankie Dettori paid tribute to the longevity of Stradivarius ahead of his bid to win a second Doncaster Cup – four years after he finished third in the St Leger on Town Moor.

John and Thady Gosden’s chestnut won on his only other visit to South Yorkshire in this corresponding event two years ago, which was part of an incredible 10-race winning streak.

While he has perhaps not quite been at his brilliant best this year, he did return to winning ways last time out in a tremendous tussle with Spanish Mission at York. And Dettori has formed a close bond with the seven-year-old.

“I think he only does what needs to be done these days. He’s been great for the sport, I love him dearly,” said the Italian.

Stradivarius (right) just got the better of Spanish Mission at York
Stradivarius (right) just got the better of Spanish Mission at York (Nigel French/PA)

“He got a tremendous reception at York. He’ll probably get one at Doncaster. He’s not going to be here forever, so let’s enjoy him.

“He’s done so much for the sport. Let’s hope he does the business.

“As for tactics, I usually improvise with him. With him we have to play it by ear. Luckily, he knows where the winning post is.

“He’s been fabulous for the sport, and the reception I got at York was such a thrill. People love him, it’s great.”

The task facing Stradivarius appeared to become significantly easier when, as widely anticipated, old rival Trueshan was declared a non-runner on Friday morning because of the good to firm ground – which has not eased, despite 5mm of rain the previous evening.

Stradivarius has been a magnificent servant to his connections
Stradivarius has been a magnificent servant to his connections (Nigel French/PA)

Thady Gosden said: “Stradivarius is in great form at home and still loving every second of it.

“It was an unbelievable day at York, to have a fight like that. He’s been there so many times, he knows where the winning post is!

“He goes there in good form on Friday.

“He might be a bit more sensible now (than he used to be pre-race).

“But he’s been good recently. At home as well, he’s his usual self, a very flamboyant horse, he likes to let you know he’s there – and is just generally full of love and enjoyment for the game.”

With Subjectivist sidelined by injury, and Alan King’s Trueshan a late absentee, David Simcock’s improver Rodrigo Diaz has emerged as perhaps the main danger to Stradivarius.

Simcock said: “Staying was always going to be his game.

“He’s a horse who has taken a lot of time to develop and is now getting better and better with racing. The track suits him, and the trip should really suit him too. He also enjoys fast ground.

“There’s plenty between Rodrigo Diaz and Stradivarius at the weights still. But the fact that he ran so well at Newbury over a trip we felt was inadequate for him gives us hope, because we know there’s going to be improvement when he steps up in trip.

“Half of him has been sold to Australian Bloodstock, and we still have the Melbourne Cup in the back of our minds. Although it’s far from straightforward logistically, this year could be as good as any to be involved so far as the depth of the race goes. A decision will be made after Doncaster.”

With Subjectivist out of action, Mark Johnston relies on Nayef Road – who has been below form recently.

Johnston said: “Nayef Road might not have been running to his absolute best this year, but he’s not a long way short of it and he deserves to win one of these.”

Sir Mark Prescott is following a familiar route with Kirsten Rausing’s three-year-old Alerta Roja.

“Alerta Roja is wonderfully tough and she’s already exceeded what we thought was possible for her,” said Prescott.

“On the figures she doesn’t have a chance, but we did win it with Alleluia, who was very similar and was also a three-year-old filly.

“Alleluia won five, and this one, who is from the same family, has won three and been Listed placed. While ostensibly she’s got no chance, she seems in good form and she gets a lot of weight. Nothing is impossible with this family.”