In what was his final appearance at Royal Ascot, it was another excellent week for Frankie Dettori at the meeting. He had four winners across the five days, bringing his career tally to 81 winners at the international event.
The highlight for Dettori was his success on board Courage Mon Ami in the Ascot Gold Cup, the feature contest of the week. It was a record-extended ninth triumph in the 2m4f race and it showed he remained at the top of his game.
The 52-year-old gave his horse a patient ride in the early stages of the stayers’ contest. Once he found a gap in the field with two furlongs to go, he made his move. The pair were able to outbattle the favourite Coltrane in the closing 110 yards to prevail by just less than a length.
Friday also proved to be a memorable day for Dettori as he rode a double on the card. He got the day off to a perfect start when he partnered Porta Fortuna to victory in the Group Three Albany Stakes. Then later in the afternoon, he won the Sandringham Stakes on board Coppice.
British Classic Success Earlier in the Campaign
When Dettori announced in the racing news that he was retiring from the sport earlier this year, he could not have imagined the success he’d have in his final year. In the opening British Classic of the season, he won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket with Chaldean.
The two-time Champion Jockey also added to his British Classic count when he won the Oaks at Epsom for the seventh occasion with Soul Sister. The filly showed her class against her own sex to win the contest for three-year-olds. Dettori will be looking forward to partnering with her again this season when she takes on the older horses in the 1m4f division.
Emily Upjohn and Dettori came close to an Oaks success in 2022 but missed out by a narrow margin. The filly remained in training, and the pair gained compensation for that near miss when they won the Coronation Cup at the same meeting 12 months later.
The former Godolphin-retained jockey was also triumphant at the Dubai World Cup Carnival earlier in 2023. He won the Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup evening, scoring with Lord North for the third straight year in the Group One contest at Meydan Racecourse in the UAE.
What’s Left this Season for Dettori?
Although Royal Ascot is now over, there is still a lot for Dettori to look forward to in his final year in the saddle. As reported in the horse news, he was given a nine-day ban during Royal Ascot which means he will have to sit out the period between 4 and 12 July.
Dettori will be back in time to feature in the July Cup at Newmarket. The sprint contest is the only Group One contest in the UK that he is yet to win. He will be desperate to get his hands on the trophy on his final attempt when he rides Kinross. As of the 24th of June, the pair are 8/1 with Betway to prevail in the sprint race.
Glorious Goodwood will be the next major festival that Dettori will be involved in. The Sussex Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Stewards Cup and Goodwood Cup are just some of the major races at that meeting. He is likely to join up with Royal Ascot hero Courage Mon Ami in the latter as they bid to win another big contest in the stayers’ division, proving their Ascot Gold Cup success was no fluke.
At the back end of the season, Dettori will be hoping to be involved in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the premier turf race in Europe in early October. He has won that race six times and Emily Upjohn is likely to be his ride this year.
Another international trip set to be on Dettori’s calendar is the Breeders’ Cup Meeting at Santa Anita in November. The Italian rode in the USA last winter, often at Santa Anita Park, so it is a racecourse he will be very familiar with.
Dettori’s final ride of his career could come on the final day of the British Flat season which takes place at Doncaster on the 11th of November.
Feature image: Frankie Dettori image credit By Paul Friel from Guildford, UK – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1422710