Dettori's a big hit at Tralee.
Dettori, on his first visit to the track, had enjoyed little luck on his two earlier mounts, but was clearly delighted and relieved by his victory in the famous colours of Sheikh Mohammed.
A huge crowd thronged around the winner's enclosure to celebrate Dettori's presence and success. And the beaming Italian superstar decided to fling his goggles into the crowd before he delivered a flying dismount, normally reserved for Group 1 triumphs.
To the roars of the crowd (a first day record of around 6,000, compared to 3,500 on the corresponding day last year), Dettori waved and retired to the weigh-room, where he e xpressed his relief, thanked Johnny Murtagh and trainer John Oxx for the chance to ride Allotrope and summed up the race very honestly: "He was best of a bad lot."
Dettori's first mount Jay And-A blazed the trail in the seven-furlong Kelliher Group Handicap until weakening early in the straight and ultimately finishing last of the eight runners behind veteran Diligent Dodger (Stephen Craine).
Craine later upstaged the Italian main attraction by treating racegoers to a Dettori-style flying dismount from En Retard after the filly scored a narrow win in the Smirnoff Liberator Handicap over five furlongs, the second leg of a fine double.
Dettori, on Magic Annemarie, shared the lead here, until running very wide off the home turn and finishing in fifth place. Dettori said, "I asked the trainer could she turn. He said, Yes. But she didn't."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 25, 1998|
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