Frankie Dettori treated his Hungarian fans to two of his famous flying dismounts after riding a big-race double at Kincsem Park on Saturday.
The track in Budapest was an unlikely stop on Dettori’s farewell tour ahead of his retirement at the end of the year, with the rider making the trip to Hungary for six rides.
Some familiar names featured on his book of mounts, with four horses travelling from the UK for owner Fitri Hay and her husband Jim, whose connection with Hungarian minister of defence Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky – also a key figure on the Hungarian horse racing scene – led to Dettori’s first visit to the track in his final year.
Teaming up with the Ian Williams-trained Silent Film for the first leg of his high-profile double in a local Group Two over a mile, Dettori was ideally placed on the heels of fellow Hay-owned runner Sceptic, who set sail for home under Rebeka Gonczi at the home turn.
Silent Film was always travelling the better of the two though and when Dettori gave the signal, he pulled clear for a cosy success.
Speaking to the Kincsem Park TV channel, he said: “Thanks to Jim for bringing the horses here and to put on a show is great. We gave the fans what they wanted.
“The race was run at a good tempo, we had a good spot, I followed Rebeka and the other English horse and when I pressed the button he went, so I really enjoyed it.”
Jim Hay added: “It was a fantastic race. We’re honoured to be here and I couldn’t have asked for a better finish.”
Dettori later steered the Hay-owned Splendent to victory in the Kincsem Stakes, a race which carries local Group One status.
Trained by Paul and Oliver Cole, Splendent was last seen finishing down the field in deep ground over a mile and six furlongs at Goodwood, but dropping back to 12 furlongs, Dettori made full use of his mount’s stamina.
Making his move on the last bend, Splendent galloped out to the line for a cosy success, with David Simcock’s Tides Of War coming home in third for Gonczi.
Dettori added: “We had a good start and when I got halfway around the turn, I kicked for home as I wanted to make sure 2,400 metres was 2,400 metres as he just gallops all day.
“It’s been a very good day and full credit to Jim and the trainers who have brought the horses – it’s a long way to travel and they have performed well.
“We have given the public what they wanted and this could open more doors to Hungarian racing.”