Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dettori stunned at being pipped

Frankie Dettori. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Frankie Dettori. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Keith Hamer

Frankie Dettori was left stunned as Lady Aurelia was nabbed on the line by Marsha in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York yesterday.

The Italian had raised his arm in triumph after passing the post on the American speedster, the 10-11 favourite, only to hear the judge announce 8/1 shot Marsha as the winner by a nose.

"I'm in shock, I thought I'd won a neck," admitted Dettori.

Marsha's owners, Elite Racing Club, were understandably delighted to see the Mark Prescott-trained four-year-old return to top form under Luke Morris, and a repeat win in the Prix de l'Abbaye is now the aim, for which she is the 2-1 favourite.

In another extremely close call, PJ McDonald admitted being surprised when hearing he had got Montaly (16/1) up on the line to deny Dartmouth a victory for the Queen in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.

"I thought I was second. It was a surprise when the lads said I'd got it," said McDonald, who made it a double on the highly-promising Dream Today in the Convivial Maiden Stakes.

A rare visit to England for Irish jockey Chris Hayes paid off as Talaayeb (9-1) found form.

Watching brief . . .

On any other day, picking up prize-money of £445,500 would not seem too bad, but Tony Martin was utterly gutted after Heartbreak City beat all bar one in last year's Melbourne Cup.

It was another cruel near-miss for the Irish in the race, Max Dynamite second the year before when the consensus is he should have won. It is said that defeats are far better to motivate one going forward than victories, much like those footballers who win everything going at underage but are complacent by the time senior combat presents itself.

Willie Mullins's failure to win a Gold Cup is galling but one suspects he would nearly prefer at this stage to win the race that stops a nation.

As such, it was encouraging to see Max Dynamite's performance on Thursday at Killarney, when punted into 4/9 in a decent staying race. Mullins said yesterday: "We could certainly go back to Melbourne."

Irish Independent

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