Casual horse racing players always want to know what Frankie Dettori is riding at large meetings. This Saturday, October 16, it’s the Ascot Champions Day card.
The “Frankie factor” has long influenced the best betting sites and markets. Ascot is the location of his legendary Magnificent 7, where Dettori won all the races 25 years ago. QIPCO British Champions Day is one of the last major gatherings of the British flat turf season, with coaches fighting to book the charismatic Italian jockey.
Even though he turned 50 this year, Frankie Dettori rides still attract special attention. At the time of writing, he has four mounts for Ascot Champions Day 2021. These are subject to final declaration which will take place 48 hours before the meeting.
Since QIPCO British Champions Day was launched in 2011, Dettori has ridden seven winners. While he wasn’t successful with any of his mounts last year, at the meeting from 2015 to 2019, he rode at least one horse to victory for five consecutive seasons. These include the Ascot Champions Day doubles in 2018 and 2018 with the star middle-distance horse Cracksman both anchored.
But who is Frankie on board this year? He remains number one among the stable jockeys of the Newmarket father-son training duo John and Thady Gosden, but also has outdoor riding. Read on as we look at Dettori’s mounts on QIPCO British Champions Day 2021:
Frankie Dettori is driving at Ascot Champions Day this year
Stradivarius – British Champions Long Distance Cup (1:25)
Dettori built an incredible relationship with Stradivarius, the most victorious horse in the history of the British Champions Series. The best flat stayer of his generation has pretty much done anything. Stradivari, meanwhile seven years old, was left in the 2m long distance cup of group 2 by the Gosden team.
Although he only beat one home win in the race under Dettori 12 months ago, the Champion Stayer prefers more solid surfaces. Stradivarius could for once find unusually good ground at QIPCO British Champions Day, even if the race has not been kind to him since winning at the age of four in 2018.
Dettori piloted him to Sagaro Stakes, Lonsdale Cup and Doncaster Cup victories earlier in the season. Stradivarius was only fourth in his attempt to hit Yeats’ Royal Ascot record when he didn’t have the best tactical drive and missed the Goodwood Cup. The Gosdens could ask him to support a tough race when he finished runner-up in Trueshan’s Group 1 Prix du Cadran over 2m 4f a fortnight ago in Longchamp on the Arc weekend.
That might be a big question, but Stradivarius is one of the most popular flat racehorses in training. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that Frankie Dettori rides him and the success they’ve had as a partnership. Stradivarius is an outstanding 5/1 with Bet365 in the ante-post bets on the Long Distance Cup for a race where his form numbers are 3120.
Bet on Stradivarius with Bet365
Kinross – British Champion Sprint Appearances (2:00)
Dettori has not won the 6f Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes since being moved and upgraded to this map. In earlier guises, however, he has four wins in the race that was first noticed in 1989. Frankie Dettori rides Kinross for Ralph Beckett’s stable this year and has a 50 percent strike rate on board the four-year-old.
A Kingman gelding, this type made progress in his early starts for the campaign. After winning the Group 3 John Of Gaunt from last year’s Balmoral Handicap hero Nijord, Kinross won the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Making an incision in the ground is important for this horse to participate.
Kinross was also far from out of favor when he finished fifth in the Prix Maurice de Gheest over an extended 6f at Deauville this summer. He was only 1 1/2 lengths behind the recently retired Starman in third, who had previously won the July Cup. Kinross then stayed in another French Group 1, the Prix de la Foret in Longchamp, behind the real 7f specialist Space Blues in fourth place.
In an open sprint competition, he can surprise some under Dettori. This is only the third time he has ridden Kinross, who goes undetected on this trip. A standout 12/1 with William Hill could be a bit of either way, especially if soft on the description for Ascot Champions Day this year.
Back Kinross with William Hill
Free Wind – British Champions Mares & Mares Outreaches (2:35)
Filly owned by George Strawbridge Free wind is the one Frankie Dettori rides in the 1m 4f Group 1 Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes – a race in which he has two wins in the last five years. A typical progressive guy from the Gosdens stable, Galileo’s three-year-old daughter turns four out of five this season.
From the maiden voyage at Goodwood in June to the Group 2 success at Town Moor, Doncaster in September, Free Wind is clearly on the right track. Winning the Prix Minerve in Deauville in August when Dettori drove for the first time was a big step forward. However, she continued on an even longer journey during the St. Leger Festival.
Free Wind bolts seven lengths over an extended 1m 6f in the Park Hill Stakes. With the runner-up Golden Pass, it reversed its previous form. Dettori let them down so Free Wind was worth a lot more than the profit margin. Falling back shouldn’t be a problem on a gallop like Ascot.
Dettori has made Journey and Star Catcher a success here, with the latter sharing a similar profile. Free Wind faces tough competition from La Petite Coco, the raider of the Emerald Isle, who took every 1m 2f to anger Love at the Blandford Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend. However, she is 11/4 with paddy power to beat this rival here.
Back Free wind at Paddy Power
Palace Pier – Deployments of Queen Elizabeth II (3:10)
Last year’s Queen Elizabeth II finished third Palace pier hasn’t got a foot wrong since then. Perhaps the loss of a shoe in this renewal of the Group 1 1-meter competition declared his defeat. Dettori was omnipresent in the saddle of the four-year-old Kingman colt. Palace Pier kicked off the season with a casual roller coaster exercise on the Bet365 Mile in Sandown.
Then Dettori landed the Lockinge Stakes in Newbury with him from the later Nassau Stakes heroine Lady Bowthorpe. The front two drew more than five lengths before the third. Palace Pier then scored his hat trick in the Queen Anne Stakes over that distance and distance at Royal Ascot.
After a midsummer break, he completed the four-time winner by winning the title at the Prix Jacques Le Marois in Deauville. Palace Pier claims to be the best miler in Europe but there is a young contender in the undefeated Baaeed. William Haggas’ runner has developed at a rapid pace and won the Prix du Moulin in Longchamp in September.
Palace Pier, however, had previously won a 60-day hiatus, so it is sure to present itself better on QIPCO British Champions Day this year. William Hill is an outstanding 7/4 with which he leaves the disappointment of 12 months ago behind. Further Frankie Dettori rides may also be booked for the other Ascot races.
Bet on Palace Pier with William Hill