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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

AFTER THE ASCOT GOLD CUP, WHAT’S NEXT FOR FRANKIE

By HRI Foreign Staff — Frankie Dettori and Stradivarius are a match made in heaven. So, when the duo bombed at the most recent running of the Ascot Gold Cup, it hurt everyone involved in horse racing. The entire community assumed one of the greatest stayers ever would cruise to a fourth consecutive title and emulate Yeats.  

It didn’t happen. The Gosdens and Dettori must rethink before Stradivarius is back in action. However, the famous Italian jockey doesn’t have the luxury of waiting to see what happens next as he must get back in the saddle. Can he bounce back from the heartbreak? His mounts in the biggest races of 2021 suggest the answer is a resounding yes.  

Source: Unsplash

The Coral-Eclipse  

The master doesn’t have much time to regroup once Royal Ascot is over. Within a couple of weeks, he will be at Sandown Park looking to take on some of the best fillies of recent times in the 2021 Coral-Eclipse. With Mishriff, St Mark’s Basilica and Love all present, it’s an incredibly strong field and the betting is fierce as they are priced 5/2, 4/1 and 5/1, respectively.  

However, Dettori arguably has the most exciting prospect in the event – Snowfall. At 5/1, it appears as if the horse racing betting is suggesting she has a little to find to beat her nearest rivals. But her performances so far have been superb, most notably taking the Oaks at Epsom by a record sixteen lengths.  

She was brilliant at York Racecourse in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes, too, winning by three-and-three-quarter lengths from the hot favourite. It’s hard to see Snowfall not being in contention, which is ideal for a man with an axe to grind.  

The St Leger  

On the surface, the 50-year-old doesn’t have much of a chance at the final classic of the year. That’s because the horse he rode in the Epsom Derby, John Leeper, is ranked as a 40/1 outsider to stay the one-mile-and-seven-furlong distance. Still, September is a long way away and a lot can happen in a few months.  

After all, horse racing is a brutal sport, and the owners and trainers in charge may decide a new jockey is needed for the favourite. Adayar provided the shock of the year when he romped home in the Derby and gave Adam Kirkby a win on a horse he wasn’t supposed to be riding. Another switch may be in the offing if Godolphin and Charlie Appleby believe a lighter touch is required.  

In that case, Dettori’s historic connections with the yard will pay dividends, meaning he may end up on the current 3/1 favourite. Racing is a savage sport, but there’s a reason Frankie has lasted this long.  

Source: Pexels

Ascot Gold Cup 2022  

Okay, it seems as if Stradivarius will depart into the sunset and make millions at stud. Of course, with an iconic horse like him, there’s no telling what will happen in the future. For punters and fans, the anticipation of the stayer returning to challenge for a fourth Ascot Gold Cup is almost palpable.  

Dettori, of course, would be aboard, much like he has been throughout the horse’s career. And, with a team like that, backed by John and Thady Gosden, it isn’t unthinkable that an incredible comeback may go down in history.  

That’s still some way off yet, but there were excuses for Stradivarius’ poor performance last time out, such as a lack of luck. If the people in charge believe he has it in him, it may well be on the cards in a year’s time. 

There are a lot of “ifs” and “buts” concerning the future, but Dettori is too classy not to come back stronger. The same is true of his rides in the biggest flat racing events of the year.

 The Coral-Eclipse 

The master doesn’t have much time to regroup once Royal Ascot is over. Within a couple of weeks, he will be at Sandown Park looking to take on some of the best fillies of recent times in the 2021 Coral-Eclipse. With Mishriff, St Mark’s Basilica and Love all present, it’s an incredibly strong field and the betting is fierce as they are priced 5/2, 4/1 and 5/1, respectively. 

However, Dettori arguably has the most exciting prospect in the event – Snowfall. At 5/1, it appears as if the horse racing betting is suggesting she has a little to find to beat her nearest rivals. But her performances so far have been superb, most notably taking the Oaks at Epsom by a record sixteen lengths. 

She was brilliant at York Racecourse in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes, too, winning by three-and-three-quarter lengths from the hot favourite. It’s hard to see Snowfall not being in contention, which is ideal for a man with an axe to grind. 

The St Leger 

On the surface, the 50-year-old doesn’t have much of a chance at the final classic of the year. That’s because the horse he rode in the Epsom Derby, John Leeper, is ranked as a 40/1 outsider to stay the one-mile-and-seven-furlong distance. Still, September is a long way away and a lot can happen in a few months. 

After all, horse racing is a brutal sport, and the owners and trainers in charge may decide a new jockey is needed for the favourite. Adayar provided the shock of the year when he romped home in the Derby and gave Adam Kirkby a win on a horse he wasn’t supposed to be riding. Another switch may be in the offing if Godolphin and Charlie Appleby believe a lighter touch is required. 

In that case, Dettori’s historic connections with the yard will pay dividends, meaning he may end up on the current 3/1 favourite. Racing is a savage sport, but there’s a reason Frankie has lasted this long. 

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