Sunday 23 October 2016

Magical ends Dettori's long wait for Stewards' Cup glory

Published 02/08/2015 | 02:30

Frankie Dettori celebrates
Frankie Dettori celebrates

Frankie Dettori's season to remember got even better as Magical Memory powered to victory in the Qatar Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

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Sent off the 6/1 favourite, the Charlie Hills-trained three-year-old was officially 3lb 'well in' under his penalty for a win at Newmarket last month and was giving the ever-popular Dettori a first victory in the big sprint handicap.

Drawn one, it needed both horse and jockey to be brave to take a gap which could so easily have closed on the far side, but take it they did and a smart turn of foot at the furlong pole sealed matters.

Toofi was three-quarters of a length back in second, with Rivellino doing best of those that raced on the near side in third, another neck away. Dinkum Diamond was fourth.

"I've been waiting years for this, I've been beaten a few times, but what a horse, very brave," Dettori said. "He went through a narrow gap and I can't fault him. All the best horses were on my side."

"It's incredible, I'm a little bit speechless to be honest," Hills added. "I thought it was a really good line-up, but Frankie gave him the most beautiful ride and had lots of confidence in the horse.

"We were lucky enough to keep him to ride today. I think we've got to step him up to Group-race company now, although he's not ground-dependent I think he will appreciate a bit of give in the ground. He's got a great temperament and a wonderful attitude.

"The reason we chose the draw we did was that the older horses can gang up on the three-year-olds and with him being on the outside it meant he could run his own race. He was unexposed and we always thought he was a Group horse in a handicap."

In the preceding Qatar Nassau Stakes, Legatissimo ran out a most impressive winner. The Qipco 1000 Guineas heroine was continuing a magnificent season, having also just been beaten in the Investec Oaks and occupying the same position in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

Dettori and Star Of Seville cut out the running in the Group One contest, tracked by the free-going Arabian Queen and Lady Of Dubai, but Legatissimo was going ominously well from some way out.

Given the office with just over a furlong to run by Wayne Lordan, the David Wachman-trained filly quickened smartly and while Wedding Vow came out of the pack to give chase, the 2/1 favourite was never going to be caught, winning with two and a quarter lengths in hand.

"She's a very high-class filly, she travels and has plenty of speed," Lordan said. "She quickened up well when I asked her. She has everything, she was just unfortunate to lose out by a short head on two occasions, but she is back to her best again.

"I rode this filly earlier in her career, it's unfortunate Ryan Moore is out with his injury, but I was delighted to get back on her."

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