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Racing Royal Ascot: OVER TO YOU PAPINEAU AS DINOS FLOPS; FANTASTIC FRANKIE GRABS GOLD Johnston rages at French farce.

Byline: David YATES

FRANKIE Dettori got the girls glowing on Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot yesterday with a red-hot ride to land the Gold Cup on Papineau.

But Mark Johnston, who trained the third and fourth home, Darasim and Royal Rebel, was even hotter under the collar.

The Middleham trainer was livid after the French team of owner Alec Wildenstein, trainer Elie Lellouche and jockey Gerald Mosse had pulled the plug on his hopes of finishing even closer.

Mosse was riding Westerner in place of Dominique Boeuf, who Wildenstein sacked at the Derby meeting.

The horse was wearing ear plugs, which are not allowed to be removed during a race under our rules of racing.

But Mosse followed the example of Boeuf, who has already been fined twice this season for removing them from the same connections' Risk Seeker, and whipped out the cotton wool in the closing stages.

Stewards fined the jockey, who flew in from Hong Kong just for the one ride, pounds 1,000 and Johnston was annoyed they didn't take further action, claiming the jockey's actions were premeditated.

"It's just ridiculous. He's just flying in the face of the rules," said the Middleham handler, as he rounded on the controversial Wildenstein.

"We race in several countries and you have to abide by the local rules. Somebody coming here has to do the same.

"You can accept that this man can get it wrong once, maybe even twice, but I just think it is diabolical that the Jockey Club can't enforce their own rules, knowing that it's going to happen in advance.

"I've gone to the stewards to object, but unfortunately couldn't because the weighed-in signal had been given."

And Wildenstein courted more unpopularity when he sourly suggested "the dope testing machine must be broken" in the wake of Papineau's brave effort.

"We will make no response to any statements of that kind from any person," was the curt response from Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford.

Their super-stayer had set himself up for the race when beating 2003 Ascot hero Mr Dinos over two miles at Sandown last month.

Experts reckoned Papineau would struggle to come out on top over the gruelling two-and-a-half-miles but Mr Dinos never looked to be going as sweetly as he had last year as Japanese hope Ingrandirie cut out the running.

Mr Dinos did lead into the straight, but Dettori has been able to put Papineau to sleep in the early stages and had plenty of horse left under him.

Westerner ran on to the line, but Papineau always looked like grabbing him and had the race in safe keeping in the final 100 yards to set himself up for a crack the best middle distance horses in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on July 24.

"This horse is top class - he can win a Group 1 over a mile and a half," said Dettori, who treated the crowd to two flying dismounts on the day, having warmed-up with a Ribblesdale win on Punctilious.

"I couldn't really get behind the horses I wanted to, but then at the five-furlong marker I got on the tail of Westerner.

"I had faith in my horse's turn of foot, and if he could take me to the furlong marker, I knew I would outsprint anyone in the last furlong."

"Classic Cliche won this race and was second in the King George. I imagine this horse will run in the King George next - let's see if he can go one better than Classic Cliche," added Crisford.

CAPTION(S):

LEAP OF FAITH: Frankie always had faith in Papineau; GOLDEN BOYS: Bin Suroor leads in Papineau and Dettori
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 18, 2004
Words:613
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