By Nicholas Godfrey
So you know Frankie Dettori took the headlines with a Group-race treble as the curtain came down at Royal Ascot with an eight-race card behind closed doors. In fact, you’ve probably seen all the races – but here’s some other stuff you might like to know.
What’s going on?
Frankie Dettori equals Pat Eddery’s mark
With his final-day treble on Campanelle, Alpine Star and Palace Pier, Dettori took his career record at Royal Ascot to 73 – the same as the late Pat Eddery.
“I sat next to Pat for 15 years,” he said. “He was one of my heroes, I used to nickname him ‘God’ and to equal him gives me great satisfaction, God bless him.”
Although Dettori and Jim Crowley both rode six winners at the royal meeting, the Italian is crowned top rider by virtue of having had more second places. Following Alpine Star’s Coronation Stakes, Dettori has now ridden the winners of all eight G1 events at Royal Ascot.
“It has taken 30 years to win all the Group 1s, but I can say that I ‘ve really conquered Royal Ascot now!” he exclaimed.
St James’s Palace: Gosden – no regrets about missing 2,000 Guineas
Although he was a notable ante-post market mover for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, Palace Pier bypassed the Newmarket Classic and made his reappearance in a minor event on the Tapeta at Newcastle.
The son of Kingman extended his unbeaten record to four at Royal Ascot, where he beat Pinatubo and Wichita – third and second respectively in the Guineas.
Gosden, who was Royal Ascot’s leading trainer with six winners, was unrepentant. “I think it would have been madness to put a horse into a 2,000 Guineas with no experience of that kind of level of competition,” he said.
“I think Palace Pier’s two wins were very impressive last year, but he sustained a little tibia injury so he couldn’t run in the Greenham. If you go to a Dewhurst or Jean-Luc Lagardere that’s fine as you’ve had the experience, but you can’t go into a Guineas off a novice event.”
France next for ‘no fluke’ Palace Pier
Gosden is eyeing Deauville for the St James’s Palace Stakes winner. “It is no fluke,” he said. “He is a really talented horse and he will go for the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville, which his father Kingman won.”
Pinatubo of last year is back, says Appleby
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “I am disappointed to get beaten again, but we saw the Pinatubo we saw last year, for sure.
“From the three to the two there I thought, it’s just a matter of pressing the button again. Will [Buick] just said that on that ground, in the last 100 yards the tank was emptying out, but he is so courageous, he has held on for second still.
“Like always, we will get him back, speak to the connections. The Sussex Stakes is an easy mile, we have seen what he can do round Goodwood, he is able to handle the track, so that is always an option.”
Sussex Stakes betting (Paddy Power): 7-4 Siskin, 3 Pinatubo, 9-2 Circus Maximus, 5 Wichita, 6 Terebellum, 8 Mohaather, 10 Kameko, 14 Nazeef, 16 Molatham, Threat, 20 bar.
With Ballydoyle fielding three of the seven runners, the stewards “noted explanations” from Tom Marquand concerning 50-1 shot Royal Dornoch’s wide course outside stablemate Wichita in the early stages. Marquand said he felt his mount was unsuited to being ridden in behind on his previous outing at Newmarket and had wanted to race wide without obtaining cover.
Coronation: Oaks in the offing – but which one?
After her Coronation Stakes success, Alpine Star was cut to 10-1 (Paddy Power) for the Investec Oaks on July 4. However, she is favourite for the Prix de Diane (French Oaks), 24 hours later – and both potential stamina limitations and the fondness of her owners, the Niarchos Family, for all things gallic suggests Chantilly as much the more likely option.
“This was the plan and I don’t know about the next plan,” said trainer Jessica Harrington. “I will talk to Maria [Niarchos-Gouaze], Electra [Niarchos] and Alan [Cooper] and then we will see what happens.”
Frankie Dettori reckons the shorter distance in France might be more up Alpine Star’s alley. “She will definitely get the mile and a quarter, she did all her best work at the end,” he said. “The mile and a half? I really don’t know – I will leave to Maria Niarchos and Jessie to talk about.”
Mind you, lest it be forgotten, Dettori already has some top-quality fillies lined up for Epsom.
Prix de Diane betting (Coral): 9-4 Alpine Star, 7-2 Raabihah, 5 Tawkeel, 6 Speak Of The Devil, Dream And Do, 10 Simeen, 12 Ebaiyra, Bonne Idee, 16 Neige Blanche, Solsticia.
Coronation: Sharing would have liked faster ground
After partnering the Breeders’ Cup winner to a gallant runner-up effort, Oisin Murphy said: “Sharing is a champion on really fast turf and she didn’t get her conditions but everyone should be very proud and hopefully it persuades Graham Motion to have more horses here next year – it was a massive performance.
“She was the best juvenile filly on turf in America last year and is a huge, physical filly.”
Diamond Jubilee: July Cup target for Hello Youmzain
Adam Ryan, son of Hello Youmzain’s trainer Kevin, described the Darley July Cup as “an obvious choice for his next run”.
He added: “We will see how he comes back from this, but he’s a Group 1 sprinter and he will be tackling all of them.
“He has a lot of natural speed as well, so I don’t think we’ll rule out dropping him down to five. He’ll probably get an entry in the Nunthorpe as well.”
July Cup betting (Paddy Power): 3 Golden Horde, 6 Hello Youmzain, Sceptical, 12 Dream Of Dreams, Khaadem, Monarch Of Egypt, 14 Wooded, 20 bar.
New owners delighted – in New Zealand
Dual G1-winning four-year-old Hello Youmzain is now owned by Haras d’Etreham and Cambridge Stud. Speaking from Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay said: “This is the most amazing thing ever for us. We were so nervous, and we have been out for dinner tonight with some friends, and they are back home watching the race.
“I think it feels like half of New Zealand is up watching the race tonight the amount of phone calls and messages we have had! I don’t know if any New Zealander has won a Group 1 at Royal Ascot before, it is just amazing.
“Thanks to Hubie de Burgh [agent] and thanks very much to Nicolas de Chambure, our partner in France. He will go to France first when he goes to stud and he will probably be here in June, July and August next year.”
‘Great 30 minutes’ for the two Kevins, Ryan and Stott
Having teamed up with Hello Youmzain, trainer Kevin Ryan and jockey Kevin Stott took the next race as well as Hey Jonesy clung on in the Wokingham. “It’s been a great 30 minutes,” said Adam Ryan.
For his part, Stott could scarcely believe what had happened. “I never rode a winner at Ascot, let alone Royal Ascot, before today,” said the rider, who incurred a two-day whip ban (July 4 and 6) for improper use inside the final furlong.
Queen Mary: Prix Morny plan for Campanelle
Wesley Ward, who won his fourth Queen Mary with Frankie Dettori-ridden Campanelle, is eyeing further success in Europe with his better Royal Ascot two-year-olds.
“Golden Pal will go for the Nunthorpe, he is more of a five-furlong horse,” said the trainer, speaking from Kentucky.
“Campanelle is more a stride horse who is suited to six furlongs and will go for the Prix Morny. I will talk it over with [owner] Barbara Banke and the team.
“Barbara has won the Prix Morny with Lady Aurelia in the past and hopefully the sanctions will be lifted, where she can go over and enjoy the wonderful racing.”
Coventry: Nando Parrado a 150-1 record breaker
At 150-1, the Clive Cox-trained two-year-old was returned with the biggest starting price in the history of Royal Ascot.
Two 100-1 shots have prevailed in the past: Fox Chapel (1990 Britannia) and Flashmans Papers (2008 Windsor Castle).
Shall we talk about it?
John Gosden (Palace Pier’s trainer): “The race panned out well. Frankie said he wanted to ride Palace Pier a little cold. He settled him off the pace. He knew there would be a searching pace and I think Ryan Moore was happy with how the race turned out on Wichita.
“It got a little rough and Frankie avoided all of that. He swept round the outside and I think that he demonstrated superior stamina, which he also showed at Newcastle, when he was really strong in the last furlong.”
Frankie Dettori (Palace Pier’s jockey): “Palace Pier is so laidback that he could probably reach a mile and a quarter, but a mile at the moment is pretty much what he wants. When you have got a good horse, he is easy to place and I am sure John will have a good plan for him. He is a Group 1-winning son of Kingman and we can think of the future with excitement.”
Charlie Appleby (Pinatubo’s trainer): “He is still a class animal – we are not going to write him off just yet. When he walks in you can see that he has given it everything. When he turned into today, I thought we were back in the days of old. It is sticky and testing out there – it’s not bad ground, just a bit sticky.”
Jessica Harrington (Alpine Star’s trainer): “She is a half-sister to a complete superstar, Alpha Centauri, who gave me my first Royal Ascot winner. She was just amazing today, she did it so easy. She is very laidback and nothing like Alpha Centauri, who was a great big, very imposing filly. This filly is not very big, she is not a great colour – a little bit of a mealy chestnut. If you saw her trotting around in the string, you wouldn’t pick her out, but she has the most wonderful attitude.”
Frankie Dettori (Alpine Star’s jockey): “I really fancied Alpine Star. I didn’t want to jinx it, so I kept quiet. Jessie approached me about 10 days ago when she knew that Shane [Foley] couldn’t fly here. I kept it quiet and knew she was an exciting ride. I asked John Gosden for permission to ride the filly and he said yes. Everything went to plan in the race. I had a decent draw. I hit a flat spot and I got the split on the fence and then the rest was history.”
Kevin Stott (jockey of Hello Youmzain and Hey Jonesy): “It has been absolutely amazing. I don’t know what to say really – I can’t find the words. An hour ago I didn’t think this would ever happen, and now I’m standing here with two Royal Ascot winners, things that you could never dream of. My first Group 1 as well. I am speechless.”
Wesley Ward (Campanelle’s trainer): “She is something and in think that we are going to be heading to the Prix Morny now. I will talk it over with [owner] Barbara Banke and the team. We are all real excited – I had all the stables lads here at the barn and they are all jumping up and down. This is the biggest meeting. We are starting to already plan for what we’re going to buy in a couple of months’ time to try and get the cream of the crop to bring our strongest team to come next year.”
• Find out more at the Royal Ascot Racing Hub