Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Frankie Dettori sets sights on Classic glory with Daban

Frankie Dettori celebrates with trainer Willie Mullins after winning the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger at The Curragh in Co. Kildare. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Frankie Dettori celebrates with trainer Willie Mullins after winning the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger at The Curragh in Co. Kildare. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Frankie Dettori feels Daban ticks plenty of the boxes in her bid for Classic glory in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday.

With three wins in the fillies' showpiece courtesy of Cape Verdi (1998), Kazzia (2002) and Blue Bunting (2011), Dettori knows what qualities are needed to lift this esteemed prize.

And he saw enough when steering Daban to victory in the Nell Gwyn Stakes over seven furlongs of the Rowley Mile last month to convince him the unbeaten John Gosden-trained daughter of Acclamation can get her name on the roll of honour.

Though both her wins have come over seven furlongs, the multiple Classic-winning rider is confident she will last out the mile.

"It was my first sit on her in the Nell Gwyn but I heard she was working very well. For an inexperienced filly she showed some good qualities," he said.

"She travelled very well and showed a good turn of foot and handled the dip very well.

"Only time will tell if she handles the extra furlong but she wasn't stopping and she finished really well. I believe that with more experience we can expect a little bit more from her."

Kilmah was a proven Group-race performer as a juvenile but has to step up on her sixth place in the Nell Gwyn. Her trainer Mark Johnston acknowledges the task facing her, but feels she is better than her last run suggests.

"Kilmah has come out of her Nell Gwyn run very well," said the Middleham handler.

"I am realistic that she will need to step up from that performance and produce a new personal best to feature in the finish on Sunday but I wouldn't be running her if I didn't think that was possible.

"She seemed to take a breather during the Nell Gwyn and then stay on again at the end, so I am hopeful that the extra furlong will be in her favour."

Daban and Kilmah are two of five horses that come under the wing of Bruce Raymond, who is racing manager to the owners of those two plus Urban Fox, Queen Kindly and Unforgetable Filly.

"They are all in good shape," he said.

"I wasn't surprised Urban Fox was second in the Fred Darling because she had good solid form.

"Unforgetable Filly is the same and was second in another trial (the Nell Gwyn). I wouldn't be surprised if she or Urban Fox ran into the first three.

"Whether they are good enough to win, we don't know, but we are hopeful.

"Gosden's filly (Daban) looks the best of them because she won her trial and she picked up really quick. She has to stay and the jury is out as to whether she will, but Frankie thinks she will."

Poet's Vanity ran a promising race when third in the Nell Gwyn and her jockey David Probert is convinced she will be an even better proposition after blowing away the cobwebs.

"She's tightened up for her run in the Nell Gwyn and she's going there in good order," he told At The Races.

"She was a likeable two-year-old and she's wintered very well. We think she'll stay a mile well and she has a good attitude.

"The plan was to have her come on for her first run and she wasn't beaten that far to say she'd have needed it.

"She's a nice big filly and there's a lot of improvement there."

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