Frankie Dettori storms to victory on Chaldean in jockey’s final 2000 Guineas
Frankie Dettori won the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Chaldean on what was his final ride in the Classic.
The Italian is retiring at the end of the current season and knew he had one more shot at glory in the historic race to add to his three previous victories in the mile contest.
Never far from the pace, Chaldean (7-2) took a lead off Hi Royal, who was just about still in front when he veered across the track, which enabled Dettori to forge into the lead.
The Andrew Balding-trained winner had to dig deep, but he eventually came home a length and three quarters ahead of 125-1 shot Hi Royal. Royal Scotsman (11-1) was third with 150-1 chance Galeron in fourth.
Auguste Rodin was sent off the 13-8 favourite but was never travelling for Ryan Moore and trailed home well beaten.
With rain falling throughout the day, the ground had turned soft and the likes of Little Big Bear and Sakheer, who had to prove their stamina, drifted markedly in the betting.
On the other hand, Chaldean was well supported, from 5-1 to 7-2 and Dettori always looked comfortable.
Hi Royal briefly gave him something to think about and really stretched the field, with all bar the winner and Royal Scotsman treading water.
Chaldean strode out purposefully, though, to give Balding a second 2000 Guineas success after Kameko in 2020. The famous Juddmonte colours were last carried to glory by the brilliant Frankel, Chaldean’s sire, in 2011.
“I was in a fight with Oisín (Murphy on Hi Royal),” said Dettori, “and once I got rid of him, I thought, ‘I’m sure something is going to come’, but I saw plenty of daylight.
“I can’t believe it’s happened really. My last  Guineas, to win it in front of my home crowd, amazing.
“Winning Classics is difficult. It’s my last season and to cap it off with a Classic is beyond my wildest dreams.”
“I was a bit worried about the mile in this ground,” Balding said, “but he’s just done a wonderful job, Frankie. We’re making the most of our unconventional prep race [unseated in the Greenham], we might set a trend there.
“It was a concern beforehand, but it did him some good because he got out there. I’m just thrilled, what a brilliant ride.
“What can’t you say about Frankie? Since I’ve been involved in the sport he’s been an omnipresent superstar of the sport and what a fitting way to ride his last 2000 Guineas.
“He always looked to be travelling comfortably, I was just a bit worried about getting past Oisín because he can get extra lengths out of a horse, but once we collared him, I was fairly confident.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long while, it’s a mixture of relief and elation. It will probably sink in in a bit, it’s a big deal.”