Dubai: A life-size statue of Frankie Dettori, commemorating his ‘Magnificent Seven’ at Ascot racecourse in September 1996, welcomes visitors to the famous Berkshire track.
Standing just beyond the entrance, the bronze sculpture depicts the Italian performing his famous flying dismount – Dettori’s arms ecstatically stretched in the air and wearing his trademark broad grin.
The final day’s racing at this year’s Royal meeting on Saturday drove home the sheer authenticity of that tribute as Dettori rode three emphatic winners.
The hat-trick drew him level with Pat Eddery on 73 winners at the Royal meeting and promoted him to say: “To equal Pat Eddery’s record of 73 is special. I sat next to him for 15 years, he was one of my heroes, his nickname was God so it gives me great satisfaction.”
Dettori completed a memorable Group One double on the day winning the Coronation Stakes with Alpine Star and Palace Pier in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
The last named dealt Godolphin’s Pinatubo a second successive defeat this year following a dream season in 2019 where he won all six of his starts.
In what was expected to be a rematch between 2,000 Guineas second and third, Wichita and Pinatubo, it was the John Gosden-trained Palace Pier who stole victory.
Pinatubo may not be the horse he was last year, but William Buick questioned the ground after Charlie Appleby’s stable star failed to run up to expectations.
It looks like Goodwood is on the radar for Pinatubo.
Appleby said: “We saw the Pinatubo from last year, William said on that ground the tank just emptied the last 100 yards. The Sussex Stakes & the easy mile there is an option - he’s still a class animal.”
Dettori began the afternoon delivering American handler Wesley Ward a first Royal Ascot winner of the week aboard Campanelle in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes.
“That one’s for you Wesley,” Frankie shouted out as he performed his trademark flying dismount, which he would on two more occasions later.
Later, Dettori teamed up aboard the Jessica Harrington-trained Alpine Star to win the Group 1 Coronation Stakes.
The in-form jockey said: “It’s great. I really fancied the filly. I knew she was an exciting ride. I asked John (Gosden) permission to ride this filly and he said yes.
“Everything went to plan. I think it was my first ride for Jessica. It has been a team effort.”
The Coronation Stakes victory ensured that Dettori has now won every Group One race that is run at Royal Ascot over the years.
There were many outstanding winners over the last five days, but it was Royal Ascot and its management team who were the real winners, when staging the historic meeting with panache, albeit behind closed doors.
It will always be remembered for the resilience British flat racing has displayed during the coronavirus pandemic as the racing calendar continues to unfold seamlessly.