Arrest and Dettori shine in Geoffrey Freer victory

Arrest – sent off favourite for the Derby – saw his odds cut for the St Leger after getting back to winning ways under a masterful ride from Frankie Dettori in the BetVictor Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

Given it was Dettori’s final ride in the Epsom Classic it was perhaps no surprise he was the market leader on that day in June, but he failed to handle the undulating track on ground quicker than ideal.

He had also been well beaten on his most recent outing behind King Of Steel at Royal Ascot, again with conditions against him.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the Frankel colt looked much more at home back on softer ground, on which he had looked so impressive at Chester earlier in the season.

On his only ride of the day, Dettori used all his experience to keep away from the rail going down the back straight and for the first three furlongs he was allowed to do his own thing before Neil Callan moved Jack Darcy over to join him.

As the entered the home straight Dettori wound up the pace and the 5-6 favourite soon had everything else of the bridle and when Jack Darcy wilted, the race was won. Ching Shih made late gains into second, but she was still beaten by a length and a half.

The winner was cut to 6-1 from 12s by Coral for the Betfred-sponsored Leger at Doncaster next month, although the Gosdens and Dettori also have the favourite for the world’s oldest Classic in the shape of Queen’s Vase winner Gregory.

Dettori said: “Everyone expected the ground to be a bog, but it’s good to soft. He was the Derby favourite so he had to do that.

“He’s one card for the St Leger, but let’s see how Gregory gets on next Wednesday (Great Voltigeur Stakes).

“He’s one of a bunch of top horses John is sending to York, it’s a very strong team and I can’t wait.

“Soft ground is not an issue with him, if it’s soft at Doncaster it would be fine.”

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