Thursday 14 December 2017

Dettori is Magnifique

Golden Horn foils Treve's historic hat-trick with an emphatic two-length victory

Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori

John Gosden's comments on Friday about the draw for his Derby hero Golden Horn almost suggested conspiracy, they were comments later masked as a joke but he need not have ever worried about from where Golden Horn was going to start the race because Frankie Dettori was on his side.

If the most recognisable jockey in the sport ever decides to write a book a good chunk of it will be revolving around Golden Horn and Treve.

Three-years ago, at Longchamp, Dettori failed a drugs test and incurred a six-month ban shortly after parting ways with his long-term employer Sheikh Mohammed.


Two years ago he had rejuvenated a career, from which he almost retired, by taking the job as retained rider to Treve's owners Al Shaqab Racing but only got out of hospital the morning Treve won her first Arc and missed the opportunity to win Europe's premier flat race again through injury.

Last season, Treve was under-performing due to well documented problems but trainer Criquette Head stated she no longer wanted Dettori and thus he rode Ruler Of The World in the Arc for Aidan O'Brien as Treve won her second Arc with Thierry Jarnet.

When William Buick left John Gosden at the end of last season to take up Dettori's former role with Godolphin, Gosden immediately rang the Italian to offer him the job as stable jockey when not retained by Al Shaqab. That led to the ride on Golden Horn and the rest is now history.

Treve, on ground quicker than ideal at Longchamp yesterday, could only manage fourth having found herself shuffled back and switched wide by Jarnet, but Dettori was just sublime on the Irish Champion Stakes winner who was giving Gosden a first win in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

From his wide berth Dettori kept Golden Horn away from the remainder of the field in the opening stages before slotting into a perfect position, clear of trouble and in pole position to add the Arc to his Derby and Irish Champion Stakes this year.

Encouragingly, Gosden didn't rule out adding the Breeders' Cup to that impressive haul.

"He retires to stud and the owner is quite keen on the Breeders' Cup. It gives us one day short of a month, he's got a great constitution and he travels well.

"If he's in good order next week, there's no reason why he can't go there."

An overjoyed Dettori said: "I really believed in the horse. He put a great Arc to bed like a superstar.

"The only blip he had was at York, but his record is unbelievable. He's probably the best horse I've ridden."

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