Dettori gets tune out of Stradivarius to deny O'Brien
Stradivarius made a triumphant return to action with a battling display in yesterday's Yorkshire Cup.
John Gosden's charge was the undoubted star of the staying division in 2018, winning each of his five starts - landing the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers' Million in the process.
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Making his first appearance since that Champions Day triumph in October and saddled with a 3lb penalty, Stradivarius came under pressure from Frankie Dettori early in the straight, but the 4/5 favourite responded generously to his rider's urgings.
Aidan O'Brien's Southern France had the benefit of run already this season and Ryan Moore did his best to make a race of it, but Dettori's mount got on top close home and passed the post three-quarters of a length to the good.
Meanwhile, Twilight Payment came good in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown last night.
Second to the mighty Order Of St George in 2017 and 2018, the Jim Bolger-trained gelding headed into the one-mile-six-furlong contest on the back of a fourth to the reopposing Master Of Reality at Navan last month.
Former Irish Derby hero Capri led the field along in the hands of Donnacha O'Brien, but Kevin Manning and Twilight Payment (6/1) had the measure of the odds-on favourite over a furlong and a half out.
Instead it was Dermot Weld's lightly-raced Falcon Eight which emerged as the biggest danger, eating up lots of ground but ultimately finishing three-quarters of a length in arrears.
"He could go for the Curragh Cup and maybe Melbourne later in the year. He's been a good servant and is nothing if not consistent," said Bolger.
On the jumps front, Rachael Blackmore will be out of action for around a fortnight with soft tissue damage to her chest following a fall at Clonmel on Thursday.