Frankie Dettori’s jewel in the crown as legendary jockey bounces back from his Gold Cup nightmare by landing the Coronation Stakes on 15-8 favourite Inspiral at Royal Ascot
- Frankie Dettori landed the Coronation Stakes on Inspiral at Royal Ascot
- The 15-8 favourite surged clear from Spendarella, with Discoveries in third
- Perfect Power claimed an emphatic win in the Commonwealth Cup
Terrible Thursday was followed by fantastic Friday for Frankie Dettori, as he bounced back from his Gold Cup nightmare on Stradivarius to land the Coronation Stakes on 15-8 favourite Inspiral.
Twenty-four hours earlier, Dettori had been in despair after Stradivarius endured a torrid trip to finish third in his bid for a historic fourth Gold Cup win, as well as being second on the Queen’s horse Saga and odds-on favourite Reach For The Moon.
That followed Lord North, Dettori’s mount in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes, fluffing the start when his hood got stuck.
Jockey Frankie Dettori (above) celebrates in trademark style at Royal Ascot on Friday
There had been some tense exchanges between Dettori and his boss John Gosden, with the trainer saying in a TV interview that the jockey had ‘overcomplicated’ his ride on Stradivarius.
Dettori needed a lift and he got it from Inspiral, who had only two rivals behind her on the home turn before slicing through the field for a four-and-three-quarter lengths win from Spendarella.
It was a performance that underlined the reality for any jockey — when your mount has gears to spare the gaps magically open — and it drew the biggest cheer of the week to show that when it comes popularity, the 51-year-old jockey is still about the length of the Ascot home straight ahead of his colleagues.
Dettori’s early mood would not have been lifted by a two-day ban for his use of the whip on Stradivarius.
The jockey, who had secured his 77th Royal Ascot win, said: ‘I had a banging headache last night but you’ve got to put it behind you.
Frankie Dettori landed the Coronation Stakes on 15-8 favourite Inspiral at Royal Ascot
‘I must say the first hour of this morning was difficult. I was still thinking about it but then I studied the form and I thought, “It’s time to concentrate — I’ve got some chances. It’s gone”.
‘You can’t read too much into it — things that people are saying.’
Still, Dettori admitted Inspiral’s win was not without jitters. On her belated seasonal debut, she was sluggish out of the stalls with Dettori further back than he had planned.
He said: ‘I thought, “Here we go again” but I took a chance on the inside and got the splits. Wow, what an engine. I was able to enjoy the last 100 yards. It’s been tough week.’
Gosden, who trains Inspiral with son Thady, said: ‘The jockey got the monkey off his back which had been strangling him.
‘You can’t keep looking back. These horses need your full attention and don’t need you wandering around with your lip flopped down. There is a danger you have too much going on in your head and you complicate matters.’
Perfect Power claimed a superb win in the Commonwealth Cup under Christophe Soumillon
Gosden said Stradivarius would go to next month’s Goodwood Cup, which he will try to win for a fifth time.
Glorious Goodwood could also be the target for unbeaten Inspiral, with a step up from a mile to 1m 2f in the Group One Nassau Stakes.
She was slow to blossom in the spring and missed her chance to go to the 1,000 Guineas as favourite. The winner of that race, Cachet, was beaten more than six lengths in fifth.
Richard Fahey-trained Perfect Power took the other Group One prize of the day with an emphatic win in the Commonwealth Cup under Christophe Soumillon.
Perfect Power, who won the Norfolk Stakes at last year’s royal meeting, had been tried at a mile in the 2,000 Guineas but did not stay. Sprinting is his game and Fahey said: ‘He has won three Group One races now and it will be four soon. He is a special horse.’
Ryan Moore moved on to 71 royal meeting wins — five this week — with victories on Aidan O’Brien’s Meditate (Albany Stakes) and Changingoftheguard (King Edward VII Stakes). The latter is now 7-1 for the St Leger.
Latin Lover gave Hayley Turner her third Royal Ascot win and trainer Harry Eustace his first when winning the Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap.