York Review: Frankie revels on the Knavesmire

August 28, 2018 News

IT was a week to remember for Frankie Dettori at York’s Ebor meeting as the charismatic Italian rode an impressive five winners, including guiding Stradivarius to a £1 million bonus in the Lonsdale Cup.

Dettori drew a blank on day one and was notably disappointed with the performance of Without Parole who finished 6th, six lengths behind his impressive stablemate, Roaring Lion. He told the Racing Post, “I got knocked about a bit at a crucial stage. I don’t think I would have beaten the first two, but I could definitely have finished third with a better run.”

Thursday started much better for Dettori, as he steered Poet’s Society home to recognise Mark Johnston as British racing’s winningmost trainer. Johnston’s time in the limelight didn’t last long, however, as the performance of Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks had everyone buzzing. The William Haggas trained filly was simply outstanding, brushing aside her seven rivals with the minimum of fuss. Dettori chased her home on the Gosden trained Coronet, who, to her credit, was giving lumps of weight away to the winner. Brilliant fillies were the theme of the day as Lah Ti Dar made a striking comeback under the week’s leading rider to mark herself as a serious contender for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, for which she is now an 8/1 chance.

Stradivarius stole the show on Friday, landing the fourth and final leg of the inaugural WH Stayers’ Million to secure a cool £1 million bonus. The John Gosden trained 4YO won the Yorkshire Cup in May, one of four qualifying races, followed by the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and finally, the Lonsdale Cup. “He has managed to get over every hurdle and he must feel like he has just gone 12 rounds with Muhammad Ali,” Gosden told ITV. “He is not a big horse but he is fabulous and he showed a real mentality.

“Full marks to the owner, he’s been trying to breed a Derby winner for years and he ends up with a Cup horse.”

While Stradivarius came up trumps, the other Friday ‘hotpot’, Battaash, could only finish fourth in the Nunthorpe, as Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross fought out a surprising finish, with the former getting the verdict in the tightest of photo finishes.

Dettori’s week got even better when he partnered the Kevin Ryan trained Emaraaty Ana to victory in the Gimcrack, a race Ryan has now won four times.

Stratum was the buzz horse in Saturday’s Ebor, but the Willie Mullins trained gelding failed to fire having met trouble in running. Whether or not he’d have beaten the winner, the Jim Crowley ridden Muntahaa, is up for debate as he bounded clear from Weekender in the closing stages to land a 1-2 for John Gosden. The Irish-trained duo, Sea The Lion and Mustajeer filled the third and fourth spots.