LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Frankie Dettori brought up a landmark 70th Royal Ascot win 30 years to the day since he rode his first winner at the historic meeting, as Fanny Logan won the Hardwicke Stakes on Friday.
The 49-year-old Italian, whose first victory came on MarkofDistinction in the Queen Anne Stakes, donated the signed saddlecloth with the number 70 on it to Ascot’s #StyledWithThanks fundraising campaign, supporting frontline workers and those affected by COVID-19.
He and his fellow jockeys are also to donate their riding fees on Saturday to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
Dettori, though, had to be happy with second best on American raider Kimari in the Group One feature race the Commonwealth Cup to Adam Kirby on Golden Horde.
Kimari’s trainer Wesley Ward also suffered frustration earlier in the day as Golden Pal was collared close to the line by Oisin Murphy on Lir Jet in the Norfolk Stakes.
Fanny Logan was another high profile win this week for the formidable pairing of Dettori and trainer John Gosden.
Gosden and Dettori had collected a third successive Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday with the remarkable Stradivarius.
Gosden said the season’s long-term target could well be Europe’s most prestigious prize, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, rather than the Long Distance Cup back at Ascot.
That would see him take on his fellow stable star Enable, who will bid for a third Arc victory in four years.
“Stradivarius was full of it this morning he was very, very cocky, very happy with himself. He is that type of personality,” said Gosden.
“I did enter him (Stradivarius in the Arc) earlier this week, so it wasn’t like I was ducking the issue.
“I think it is the concept of Ardross, who was a great, great Cup horse who then went and ran a fabulous second in the Arc, I believe, with Lester (Piggott), and I think (owner) Bjorn (Nielsen) is thinking in those terms, and he is fully entitled to do so.”
CROWD OR NO CROWD’
Kirby and trainer Clive Cox are a pretty decent team as well and they combined for a sixth Royal Ascot victory with Golden Horde.
“Adam (Kirby) is rock solid and we have enjoyed lots of good days here, this really takes the biscuit,” said Cox.
Hollie Doyle followed up fellow female jockey Hayley Turner’s win on Wednesday with a stunning ride on Scarlet Dragon.
Doyle — who rode 116 winners last year — wove her way from the back of the field to take the honours in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.
It was her first Royal Ascot win and brought up her half-century for the season.
“I can barely talk,” she said with a big grin. “This gets a monkey off my back (having a winner at Royal Ascot).
“I have an affinity with this horse he gave me my first handicap win as an apprentice a few years ago.”
There was also a first Royal Ascot win for Ben Curtis in the Group Three Albany Stakes on Dandalla.
“I don’t care, crowd or no crowd!” said Curtis.
“I am in racing to ride winners, and ride big winners, and try to improve myself year on year. I think I am just going to go in and pinch myself now in a second.”
The first had been won in impressive style by the Tim Easterby-trained favourite Art Power, giving three-time British champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa his seventh Royal Ascot victory.
The 39-year-old Brazilian was delighted for the Thai owners, who also own Premier League side Leicester City.
“This is very important, especially for my team King Power Racing and Top (Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha),” said De Sousa.
“Obviously his Dad (Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed in a helicopter crash at Leicester’s stadium in 2018) is not here but whatever way he is he will be looking down for his horse.”