Frankie Dettori: Ascot 2020 - Day 1

Frankie Dettori’s Sporting Index blog: Ascot 2020 - Day 1 Preview

It’s amazing to think that it’s been 30 years since my first Royal Ascot winner… it’s still the greatest meeting of the lot and every year is exciting, crowds or no crowds. Hopefully we can have a few more winners this year as I’m only three away from 70 too.

Daarik - Buckingham Palace Handicap (1:15pm)

Sheikh Hamdan has four running and Jim [Crowley] would have had first choice but Daarik. looks a nice ride too.

He won well at Newcastle on his reappearance and would be hoping he can come on for that run, though he’ll have to as this is a very competitive 24-runner handicap at Royal Ascot!

Some of these handicaps are a bit of pot luck and plenty can depend on where the pace is.

Terebellum - Queen Anne Stakes (1:50pm)

The Queen Anne Stakes is a special race and it looks worth rolling the dice with Terebellum this year.

She won well over 1m2f in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago, and though she’s dropping back in trip to the mile that shouldn’t be a problem as she has some good tactical speed.

The mile division looks wide open, she’s in great form and hopefully she’ll be able to get involved.

She’s definitely improved from three to four and we’ve got a fitness advantage so everything looks set for a big run.

Circus Maximus looks like the one we’ve all got to beat, but he’s coming in here without a prep race.

Frankly Darling - Ribblesdale Stakes (2:25pm)

I won this race last year with Star Catcher and look to have a good chance again this year with Frankly Darling.

She absolutely hacked up at Newcastle on her reappearance having worked well at home during the spring and she’s come out of the race well.

If she is to be an Oaks contender then she needs a bit more experience and my only concern would be that she may lack a bit of experience.

Ascot is a tough test for the less experienced horses, but on what we’ve seen so far she’s entitled to head the betting.

Fingers crossed she takes it all in her stride, runs well and then we can think about the Oaks at Epsom.

Arthur’s Kingdom - King Edward VII Stakes (3:00pm)

I knew I was going to be free to ride in this so I got on the phone to Aidan O’Brien and as things have worked out I’m on Arthur’s Kingdom.

Ryan [Moore] has the pick and rides Mogul, who looks like a very smart horse but, as we often see his second string can finish in front of the others.

He’s just got so many good horses with untapped potential and it’s always exciting to ride for him.

I don’t know much too about the horse but he ran well over 1m2f as a three-year-old so the step up to 1m4f here shouldn’t be a problem.

Wasmya - Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (4:10pm)

Francis-Henri Graffard has started the season very well in France so I’m looking forward to the ride on Wasmya in this one.

He’s a good trainer and wouldn’t be sending one here without a chance.

She looked a useful filly when finishing second on her seasonal reappearance in the Listed Prix Maurice Zilber and hopefully she’ll come on a bit for that.

Pianissimo - Ascot Stakes (4:40pm)

Pianissimo is my final ride of the day.

He’s a horse who I rode a couple of times when he used to be owned by the Queen and trained by John Gosden.

He’s now trained by Tony Carson who’s a good friend of mine and I’m looking forward to the ride.

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