Five Flying Dismounts? Frankie Dettori’s Top Champions Day Chances
Qipco British Champions Day has proven a terrific addition to the calendar, and this year’s renewal is as competitive as ever. One person who has proven a regular fixture at the Champions Day meeting is Frankie Dettori. Some of the legendary jockey’s finest moments have come at Ascot, and he will be hoping for more top-level success this weekend – where he has a spectacular book of rides. We have assessed all the Dettori Champions Day rides below.
STRADIVARIUS – (1:25pm, Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup)
Frankie’s first ride on Saturday’s Champions Day card comes aboard STRADIVARIUS, who Dettori will be partnering for the 24th occasion – their partnership up to now yielding 14 victories, three of those coming in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Now a 7yo, Stradivarius has a wealth of racing experience and he has proven his enthusiasm for this game remains with impressive victories at York and Doncaster this season.
He chased home new kid on the block Trueshan in the gruelling Prix du Cadran at Longchamp a fortnight ago, where the testing ground would have been against him.
Back on a sounder surface this weekend it would be no shock to see Stradivarius reverse those placings.
KINROSS – (2:00pm, Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes)
It is 18 years since Frankie Dettori last took the British Champions Sprint Stakes aboard Acclamation, yet he appears to have a good opportunity of breaking that duck courtesy of Ralph Beckett’s KINROSS, who runs in the silks of Frankie’s friend Marc Chan.
This son of Kingman was twice a winner in competitive 7f Group races earlier this season, and he has accredited himself well in defeat upped to Group 1 level the last twice.
Saturday’s race will be the first time Kinross has been seen over a trip as short as 6f, yet there is plenty of pace in this race thanks to the presence of Nando Parrado, Highfield Princess and Art Power – and that could set things up for something finishing strongly from off the pace.
FREE WIND – (2:35pm, Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes)
One of Frankie Dettori’s most exciting rides on Champions Day comes in the Fillies & Mares Stakes, where he partners FREE WIND.
This beautifully-bred daughter of Galileo is now 4-5 in 2021, with her latest victory in Doncaster’s Park Hill Stakes coming by an impressive 7l margin.
She is dropping back to 1m4f on Saturday, but that doesn’t look as though it will inconvenience Free Wind, and her trainer/jockey/owner combination has previous in this contest having sent out Journey to land the spoils in 2016.
PALACE PIER – (3:10pm, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes)
Bookmakers feel that PALACE PIER represents Frankie Dettori’s strongest chance of success on the Champions Day card.
Arguably the best miler in Europe, Palace Pier comes into Saturday’s race with an incredible record of nine wins from ten starts, his sole defeat coming in this very race last year where the bottomless ground went against him.
Saturday’s expected conditions should suit far better, and although Palace Pier faces some fast-improving rivals here in the likes of Baaeed, he should prove tough to beat if anywhere near his best form.
SUNRAY MAJOR – (4:30pm, Balmoral Handicap)
A half-brother to the exceptional Kingman, SUNRAY MAJOR is certainly bred in the purple and has shown definite ability in his four starts to date – winning on three occasions.
His latest victory came over 7f here on handicap debut, where Sunray Major looked like a horse destined for bigger and better things.
He carries a 6lb penalty here for that 7f win, but should have improvement to come now stepped up to a mile for the first time and that penalty still leaves him 1lb well in on his revised handicap mark.