Frankie Dettori Set to Shine at Royal Ascot
Frankie Dettori will ride leading fancies in at least half of the eight races that fall under the QIPCO British Champions Series banner at Royal Ascot next week and on Thursday gave them all a positive bulletin.
The Italian jockey’s enviable book of rides is headed by the John Gosden-trained Cracksman, who returns to Ascot following a devastating seven-length success there in the QIPCO Champion Stakes in October, which resulted in the colt being the highest-rated three-year-old in the world with a rating of 130 in 2017.
The son of Frankel is unbeaten in two starts this year, landing the Group 1 Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp in April before prevailing by a head in the Investec Coronation Cup despite not handling the undulations of the track and hitting his head in the stalls.
“Cracksman is fine. I rode him yesterday and he is good,” Dettori said. “He doesn’t like Epsom and struggles to run downhill. He likes Ascot and I hope the same beast turns up that won the Champion Stakes and then we would have some fun.
“His CV is tremendous and you don’t get rated 130 unless you prove it – I’m excited to see him on Wednesday.”
Dettori also partners the unbeaten Without Parole, another Frankel colt trained by Gosden, in the St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday.
“Without Parole went into the race at Sandown following a short lay-off after a bruised foot and he was a little bit rusty that day,” the 47-year-old said. “Looking at the entries, it looks an excellent St James’s Palace with Romanised, U S Navy Flag, Wootton and others. He will have to step up, but he is a Frankel colt and he is very exciting.”
He added: “Stradivarius goes for the Gold Cup. He is a bonny little horse and likes fast ground. The Gold Cup is unique as it is two and a half miles. We know Stradivarius stays two miles, but another half a mile is a long way. Order Of St George is a great champion and is going to be a tough nut to crack.”
Australian superstar Redkirk Warrior is the latest horse from Down Under to contest one of the Group 1 sprints at Royal Ascot and is another that Dettori will partner. “He’s got a great profile and I wouldn’t swap him,” Dettori said.