Frankie Dettori made his reunion ride with John and Thady Gosden a winning one at Newmarket on Thursday afternoon as he guided Mighty Ulysses to victory in the Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes.
The long-standing partnership between the Italian rider and the Clarehaven training team appeared over having agreed to a “sabbatical” on the back of criticism from Gosden senior regarding some of the 51-year-old’s rides at Royal Ascot.
However, the decorated jockey was back to his best aboard the son of Ulysses, who built on his fifth-placed finish in the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Dettori was at pains to preserve the 11-10 favourite’s energy in the early stages as the colt was soon on terms with Monaadah in the early stages and then showed a willing attitude once his rider got busy from two furlongs out.
He was soon closing on the eventual third, Andrew Balding’s Berkshire Shadow, and asserted his dominance in the final half-furlong to seal the victory.
Referring to a turbulent couple of weeks, Dettori said: “I’d be the first one to say I probably had the worst Ascot in my 35-year career.
“I’m 51 and John is 71. We had a chat, we’re not kids any more so we sorted things out and now we’re just looking forward. The past is the past and I’m glad to ride a winner for him.
“What was said will remain behind closed doors and stay between us. We had to iron a few things out, but that’s in the past.
“Leaving the first meeting (of reconciliation between the pair) I didn’t think this would be happening, but we had another go at it and it would have been a shame to finish it like this – we’ve been friends for 30 years and I’ll be forever grateful to him.
“We’re still friends and he even gave me a rose (from Sir Henry Cecil’s garden)!”
He added of the winner: “He’s a horse who likes to come from behind, but when I was looking at the race this morning I could only see one possible pace angle.
“I wanted to be a bit handy as I knew it was going to be a sprint finish and for a minute Jason Watson headed me (on Berkshire Shadow), but at least it worked out and he knuckled down.
“He’s a work in progress, but we haven’t had a proper run at it. We overpitched him in the St James’s Palace, but he wasn’t disgraced. He’ll be interesting next year.”
Of the fall-out post-Ascot, Gosden said: “No one like interruptions and no one likes to do things in the public domain, but there wasn’t another choice.
“This is all just becoming a very boring subject now. It’s good that we’re back together and we’re happy. None of it if pleasant, but you have to deal with it.”
As for the winner, he could now head to Goodwood.
Gosden said: “The plan was to take a lead, he’d wound up in front but he’s run very well and I couldn’t be more delighted.
“I thought he ran a blinder in the St James’s Palace Stakes and he’ll stay at this trip, we found out at Epsom he’s not a mile-and-a-quarter horse.
“He won’t go to the Celebration Mile, if we do anything there’s a three-year-old-only mile race (Thoroughbred Stakes, July 29) which looks a logical place to go next.”