Australia’s form horse, and one of the sport’s greatest jockeys – it’s potentially a winning combination. This year will see the return of the veteran Frankie Dettori to Ascot after last years absence, and once more he will strive for victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. To do so again would be his third win there, add this to 5 gold cup wins, and his unprecedented 7 winners on champions day in 1996, and its not hard to see why Frankie can’t stay away from Royal Ascot.
It is a race steeped in history; the legendary Lester Piggot holds a record haul of 10 Diamond wins, and Dettori now has a chance to get his first win since 2015.
The horse he has been tasked with leading to victory is the Australian sprinter Redkirk Warrior, who of late is almost unbeatable at domestic level. As a three-year-old he began his racing career in the UK, winning twice over 10 furlongs back in 2014.
Ascot however, will be a different kettle of fish, hence trainer David Hayes’ desire to recruit an experienced rider for the upcoming flat race. Hayes stated that it wasn’t an easy choice to make but that “no one currently riding has more winners at Royal Ascot than Frankie Dettori”. Clearly the hope is that some of that Italian magic can seal the win.
As ever in racing, it’s no forgone conclusion. On the contrary, Redkirk isn’t even the favourite, that right goes to Harry Angel at 3-1, with Australia’s finest coming in next at 6s. It looks unlikely that this year’s stake will be won again by last year’s victor – Tim man, who is back at 12/1. Dettori riding Redkirk Warrior doesn’t guarantee success, but but it is an added bonus in a sport of fine margins.
The Italian jockey, now 47, has over 500 career wins to this point, including multiple group 1 wins in the 1000 guineas, Ascot gold Cup and the illustrious Dubai World Cup. It’s undoubtable that he will go down as one of the greatest jockeys the sport has seen, so says even the legendary Lester Piggot, who called him the best rider still in activity. This years Royal Ascot meet gives him another opportunity to add to the story, and it is certainly set up to be a wonderful finale to the week.