Frankie Dettori was certainly the comeback kid on Saturday when winning the Epsom Derby for the second time in his career at the age of 44. Dettori’s mount Golden Horn beat stable companion Jack Hobbs by three and a half lengths to give Newmarket trainer John Gosden a memorable 1-2 in the Epsom Classic.
Dettori’s relationship with the Derby has not been straight forward at all and it famously took him fifteen rides before he finally triumphed on Authorized in 2007 and, after a well-documented career dip, it was his first ride in the race for four years.
“He hit a bit of a flat spot three furlongs out when I initially asked him to quicken but when I got aggressive with him and gave him a crack he took off,” said the jockey straight after alighting from his horse with his trademark flying dismount.
The impressive Epsom winner will aim to extend his unbeaten record in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 4th.
There was a major shock on Friday afternoon at Epsom when the 50/1 rank-outsider Qualify won the Oaks by a short-head after coming with a late rattle at the death.
The 1000 Guineas heroine Legatissimo looked all set to become a dual Classic winner when leading passing the furlong marker, however jockey Colm O’Donoghue had different ideas and conjured up some late magic out of his filly.
Her trainer, Aidan O’Brien, who is no stranger to sending out Oaks winners, said: “She’s by Galileo, they are usually tough, and Colm gave her a masterful ride. We’re lucky, we have high-class horses and she’d always worked like one. I was just a bit worried the ground wasn’t fast enough.”
The last time a 50-1 shot won the Oaks was in 1991, when Jet Ski Lady was successful for Jim Bolger and Christy Roche.
After a thirty-seven year wait we finally got another Triple Crown champion on Saturday when American Pharoah completed the final leg of the treble with victory in the Belmont Stakes.
There had been only eleven of them in history and Affirmed had last completed the feat in 1978. In the interim years, twelve other very good racehorses had turned up at the Long Island racetrack with a chance to become the next great horse, only to fall short at the hands of another rival. The most recent of them being California Chrome last year.
Where many in the past had failed, American Pharoah broke the mold and wasn't really pushed at the end of the race, pulling away from the field by five and a half lengths under jockey Victor Espinoza.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who came up just short of the Triple Crown multiple times, was very relieved after the race.
“I was really beginning to dislike the Triple Crown," Baffert said. "I told Victor in the paddock, 'Go ahead and ride him, he's ready. That little horse, he deserves it."
Hurricane Fly could never land a blow on Sunday afternoon when he lined up in the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle) in Paris and finished a disappointing sixth.
The twenty-two times Grade One winner was aiming to make a hat-trick of victories in the race but was never really competitive at any stage.
Un Temps Pour Tout made all the running under James Reveley to achieve Grade One glory for the David Pipe stable.
Tony McCoy was enticed out of retirement this week, for one day only mind, to take part in the Leger Legends Classified Stakes at Doncaster on September 9.
Doncaster Racecourse tweeted: “Delighted to announce @AP-McCoy will be back on Town Moor Turf to ride in the St Leger Festival Leger Legends race!”.
Bookmakers have already installed McCoy as the 4/1 favourite to win the race.
It was reported this week that Double Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton will make her debut as an amateur jockey in a charity race at Newbury on July 2nd.
Pendleton has completed four months of training at Lawney Hill's yard and a decision will be made on which horse she will ride on her debut within the next fortnight.
A field of twelve riders will line up in the George Frewer Charity Race that Pendelton will compete in.
Top Flat Jockeys (last seven days): S.Sanders (3/5), H.Bentley (4/10), T E Durcan (5/13), J.Doyle (4/15).
Top Flat Trainers (last seven days): J A Osborne (4/8), E.Walker (3/7), Sir M Stoute (5/13), M W Easterby (5/14).
There is top flat action next weekend from Sandown Park, York and Musselburgh with the latter hosting the Scottish Sprint Cup (Heritage Handicap).