Frankie and Stradivarius unstoppable at Royal Ascot


Frankie and Stradivarius unstoppable at Royal Ascot
Frankie Dettori performs the 'Flying Dismount' after winning the Gold Cup. -AFP

Dubai - The pair successfully defend the Group 1 Gold Cup, part of the British Champions Series

By James Jose

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Published: Thu 20 Jun 2019, 9:34 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Jun 2019, 11:42 PM

There are very few horses and horsemen that leave one in awe with their accomplishments. And on the evidence of what transpired at Royal Ascot on Thursday, Frankie Dettori and his mount Stradivarius will now be part of folkore.
The famed Italian jockey partnered Stradivarius to successfully defend the Group 1 Gold Cup, part of the British Champions Series, at the racecourse in Berkshire.
It further reinforced the fact that Stradivarius, the five-year-old son of Sea The Stars, is one of the best stayers in Europe.
The Gold Cup double added to Stradivarius' wins in the Queen's Vase in 2017, the Goodwood Cup in 2017 and 2018, the Yorkshire Cup in 2018 and 2019, the Lonsdale Cup in 2018 and the British Champions Long Distance Cup last year.
It capped an amazing day for Dettori with the 48-year-old Milan ace racking up his fourth win on the trot at the races on the third day. And he showed he is still on top of his game with this being his seventh success in the Gold Cup.
Dettori's previous wins came on Drum Taps (1992, 1993), Kayf Tara (1998), Papineau (2004) and Colour Vision (2012) with Godolphin.
But it wasn't easy to start with. Dee Ex Bee, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, led the pack with Raymond Tusk close on his heels. 
Heading for home, Stradivarius encountered a bit of traffic but Dettori managed to wriggle out it before blasting past Dee Ex Bee and Master of Reality.
Dee Ex Bee finished an admirable second after leading for most of the race run over two-mile, three furlong and 210-yard, contest.
Godolphin's Cross Counter was tipped as one of the favourites to stop Stradivarius' charge but the 2018 Melbourne Cup winner and this year's Dubai Gold Cup champion couldn't stay the trip, under James Doyle.
Saddled by Charlie Appleby, Cross Counter finished fourth.
 "What a horse, he got me out of trouble," said Dettori.
" He's a horse for the big occasion and I love him dearly. I was only nervous because the people care so much about this horse. It's a wonderful story for Bjorn Nielson and the stable. Every time you ask he delivers, it's unbelievable," he added.
Truly a man for the big occasion, Dettori again performed his patented 'Flying Dismount' before collecting the cup from Queen Elizabeth II.
Earlier in the day, Dettori had nicked the first three races on A'Ali, Sangarius and Star Catcher.
Winning trainer John Gosden said: "I know Frankie keeps saying it's me, but it's all down to the horse. This 48-year-old kid (Dettori) take this to another level, like a Wimbledon semi-final and final. He's riding quite beautifully."

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