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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dettori double inches him closer to his 3,000th winner

Ken Condon’s Success Days. Pic: Racing Post
Ken Condon’s Success Days. Pic: Racing Post

Frankie Dettori inched another step closer to riding his 3,000th winner in Britain after enjoying a double at Sandown.

Having partnered the William Haggas-trained On Her Toes (5-2) to victory in the feature Longines Irish Champions Weekend EBF Stallions Star Stakes, the three-times champion completed a quickfire brace when gaining a third success aboard top weight Goodwood Mirage (11-2) from the yard of Michael Bell in the Ebm-Papst Handicap.

Dettori - now on the 2,993 mark - said of the latter: "I'm the only one to win on the Flat with him. He is complicated, but he does win when he wants to."

The popular Italian will be hoping to capture a fifth King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday when teaming up with trainer John Gosden to ride Derby fourth Wings Of Desire in the Group One showpiece.

Of his chances, he said: "He seems in good shape, but he is so lazy at home it is hard to judge how good he is.

"He is getting 12lb and with Postponed not in the race it makes the test a bit easier, but the top two in the betting (Dartmouth and Highland Reel) are very good.

"I thought the Derby came a bit too soon for him. He just got in a muddle round Epsom and Ascot should suit him better."

The Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10 is one of the races considered for Success Days as Ken Condon's stable star closes in on a return to action.

The four-year-old won both the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial last season before suffering an injury in the English Derby at Epsom.

He ran three solid races earlier this spring, most recently finishing third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, and is set to make his comeback before the end of September. Condon, based at the Curragh, said: "I'm very happy with him.

"He had a midsummer break after the Tattersalls Gold Cup and is coming back now.

"We'll step up his work in the next few weeks and then we'll see where we go. He is in the Royal Whip (Curragh) and that might be a possibility, ground permitting.

"The other option is the Irish Champion Stakes and I would like to see him going left-handed again, so we'll see.

"Hopefully the ground will be on the slow side wherever he goes and we'll look forward to it."

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