Lancelot rescues Dettori's Goodwood
Royal Ascot was not much fun for Frankie Dettori, sitting it out with a fractured shoulder, and Goodwood has not exactly been a bed of roses for him either but he finished the meeting on a high note when he rode Lancelot Du Lac to victory in the Qatar Stewards Cup. In keeping with many of the week's results, the winner was a 25/1 shot.
A mini tornado before racing completed the full gamut of extreme weather for this 'Glorious Goodwood', and tornado was a pretty good description of how Dettori rode Dean Ivory's seven-year-old.
Quickly away, he was in front after two furlongs, tacked over from his high draw to the better ground on the far side and never saw another horse as he came home three-quarters of a length in front of Aeolus and Upstaging.
"Usually you're all-out in these races but I had time to punch the air," said Dettori, who won his first Stewards Cup on Magical Memory two years ago. "I never did think anyone would get past me. He galloped to the line."
It was Dettori's first time on the gelding and he was booked as much as anything because his agent, Ray Cochrane, is a friend of Ivory's. "Dean had two in the race," explained the jockey. "He was quite sweet on him. He boiled over at Ascot but the hood made a big difference today. He has bags of speed and I was able to get across without using too much petrol.
"I've known Dean a long time. This means a lot to him to win a race like this - he doesn't run a massive operation."
Ivory, one of the few trainers based within the M25 around London, was delighted. "We were going to run three and Robert Winston was going to ride Tropics but we took him out because of the ground. I'd booked Frankie by then so Robert said he'd ride Stake Acclaim. Lancelot Du Lac has always had a big race in him - and it was today. It's been an up and down season and I'm thrilled for everyone.
"When hit the front he stayed there lovely. With his hood on I don't think he knew where the others were. In those races if you're out in front you avoid the problems and even at his age you can still learn things about a horse. This is the creme de la creme. We'll sit tight for a while before we see where we go but the Ayr Gold Cup could be a possibility."
Stradivarius put in a good trial for the St Leger when he beat Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup at the start of the meeting on Tuesday but there was another yesterday when Michael Stoute's Crystal Ocean won the Qatar Gordon Stakes by an impressive 3ƒ lengths from Khalidi.
"We've always liked him," said Stoute, who had also been in the winner's enclosure this week with Expert Eye and Poets Word. "We thought he'd go on the soft because he had run on it in the Dante but we were worried about this ground.
"We've been thinking about the Leger for him but we'll see how he comes out of this. It's a possibility. We might do a Conduit - a one-off fling at a mile and three-quarters. Long term we see him as a mile-and-a-half horse"
Crystal Ocean, ridden by the week's leading jockey Ryan Moore, was given a quote of 5/1 for the fifth and last Classic of the season at Doncaster on September 16.
Also at Goodwood yesterday, where she finished a close second on her only ride as well as working as a pundit on ITV, Hayley Turner, who has been something of a part-time jockey lately, announced that she will be returning to the saddle on a more permanent basis in France this winter to make use of the 2kg weight allowance for women riders.
"Once I've finished with ITV this Flat season I am going to head out to France," she explained. "I might come and go between now and then, and then base myself over there for the winter. Herve Nagger [agent to Frankie Dettori when he rides in France] is going to take me on."
She added that her priority was her work for ITV and that she is unsure how it will work. "I've still got a long way to go and I'm the amateur on the ITV team but my confidence is increasing," she said. "I'm not going to ride forever so that's my priority.
"British racing is brilliant but I've done that and new people, a new language will be a new challenge. I wasn't for the claim when it came in but it's a no brainer riding where you can claim 2kg against people who have ridden fewer winners than you."