Frankie Dettori: Racing Insights 15/06/2021
Frankie Dettori’s Sporting Index blog: Palace Pier is my best chance of the week
Royal Ascot is my favourite week of the year, it’s the Olympics of horse racing and it really doesn’t get any better.
We’ve got great weather, there’s going to be 12,000 spectators through the doors and of course the racing is of the highest quality.
I’m really hoping we can kick off the week in style as Palace Pier is obviously the one to beat in the Queen Anne (2:30pm) and he’s odds-on for a reason.
I love him, he’s one of the best horses in the world and I’m very excited.
He’s beaten most of the field already and has done very little wrong.
He won the Lockinge in good style last time out and surprised me a bit that day as he didn’t hit his usual flat spot.
He put five lengths on a decent field and he’s still learning the game, so I’m as confident as you can be.
If it’s rattling fast ground then that might be a minor concern, as his best runs have come on good ground or slightly easier and he’s got a bit of a round action, but they do a great job at Ascot and it’s the first race so the ground should be perfect.
The Group 1s at Royal Ascot are always hard to win, but this would still be my best chance of the week.
I’m then on Tolstoy in the Coventry Stakes (3:05pm), which looks typically wide-open as we all have a point to prove.
Like most in this field, he’s an unbeaten maiden winner and we just don’t know what we’re up against.
He’s beautifully bred and won well first time up but it’s a wide-open race so it’s hard to be too confident.
I was initially riding Arecibo for Robert Cowell in the King’s Stand (3:40pm), but the opportunity came up on Brendan Walsh’s Extravagant Kid.
Brendan is a good friend of mine and the horse looks to have very solid claims when you look back at his form.
It’s obviously a very tough race with Battaash lining up again and I still think he’s the one to beat despite the fact he’s not getting any younger.
I’m really pleased to have picked up the ride on Thunder Moon for Joseph O’Brien in the St James’s Palace (4:20pm).
He disappointed first time up at Newmarket in the Guineas, but that run was surely too bad to be true given how strong his form was as a two-year-old.
If you look at his form as a juvenile he’s right up there with the very best and I’m hopeful he can bounce back.
I’ve also got good chances in both the Ascot Stakes (5:00pm) with Golden Rules and in the Wolferton Stakes (5:35pm) with Forest Of Dean.
Rachael Blackmore is riding in the Ascot Stakes which will be fun, it’s a big like our Grand National that race.
Both races are very tricky, big-field contests where you need plenty of luck.
You just need to gauge the pace, follow one round in the right spot and hope things right for you.
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