Dubai: Thirty years since he rode his first Royal Ascot winner as a teenager, Frankie Dettori continued to hog the limelight when sealing a landmark 70th victory at the event on Friday aboard the improving filly Fanny Logan.
Most significantly the Italian donned the vintage silks of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, one of the sport’s most eminent figures aboard the impressive winner of the Hardwicke Stakes.
The famous colours of maroon, white sleeves and maroon cap with white star, which were carried to major victories around the world, are now associated with HH Sheikha Al Jalila Racing.
Dettori, who is by far the most successful jockey at the world’s most famous racing festival after the great Lester Piggott, produced Fanny Logan from the back of the field to claim a decisive victory.
John Gosden’s filly recorded a hat-trick of wins last season, culminating with a fourth-placed effort behind Iridessa in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park in America.
Fanny Logan crossed the line two-and-a-half lengths ahead of 40-1 shot Alounak, with Defoe a clear third.
Gosden told ITV Racing: “It wasn’t a fluke. At Haydock I asked Rab (Havlin) to drop her out and she ran a lovely race to finish second and after it she had a good blow so we knew she’d come on for it.
“She’s been very bright since. Frankie had a plan to make the running today, but I told him I didn’t think that was a good idea so he sat out the back, rode her coolly, swept down the outside and she’s clearly the best on the day.
“He’s riding as well as ever, belying his years and it’s a pleasure to be around him for his knowledge and feel. He’s a great race-reader,” added Gosden.
“She’s grown up know which was why I took the hood off.
“We’ll see where we go, she’s a Group Two winner now which is fantastic. If there’s a Group One, even against colts, we’ll look at it otherwise there’s the Lancashire Oaks. I wouldn’t be afraid of running her in the King George, she has different owners (to Enable)”
Commenting on reaching a new landmark, Dettori said: “It’s great to get 70 winner — now I want 71.”
Only Piggott has ridden more Royal Ascot winners with a colossal 116.
Dettori rode his first Royal Ascot winner, Markofdistinction, trained by Luca Cumani, in the Queen Anne Stakes as a 19-year-old in 1990.
Since then he has won more than 25 Group One winners at the Royal Meeting and been leading jockey six times, most recently in 2019.
Other notable winners on Day 4 at the Berkshire course shorn of spectators were Golden Horde in the featured Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and Santiago in the Queen’s Vase, one of three perpetual trophies at the meeting, along with the Royal Hunt Cup and the Gold Cup, which can be kept permanently by the winning owners.
It’s been a rather quite week by their high standards but trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, came good when it mattered to uncover an Epsom Derby contender.
Dandalla was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Albany Stakes under Ben Curtis while The Lir Jet stormed home to win the Group 3 Norfolk Stakes.