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Why it could be a massive day for ageless Frankie.

Byline: Racing writer of the year David Carr can see the star rider lighting up Town Moor


GE shall not weary them, if they take things steadily. Nobody minds a box office star pacing themselves if they have still got what made them great.

Who cares if 83-year-old Sir Anthony Hopkins made only two films last year if one of them was The Father and he became the oldest winner of the Best Actor Oscar?

Nor does anyone begrudge Jimmy Anderson cutting back on his workload at 39, as he is still England's leading strike bowler and probably the home team's best hope of levelling the Test series with India this weekend.

So it is with Frankie Dettori, who turned 50 last December and will celebrate the 32nd anniversary of his first Grouprace victory next Wednesday.

Few demi-centenarians are as energetic as they were at 18 and he accepts that, carefully managing his schedule so that he has had only 159 rides in Britain this year.

Although that would not put him in the top 100 of the country's most active jockeys, he remains firmly in the top handful when it comes to effectiveness at the highest level.

Dettori has already won 19 Group races around the world this year and will once again be the man to beat over a few days packed with potential at Doncaster.

On Saturday he will not only attempt to land a seventh St Leger but also get back on the Queen's Reach For The Moon, who offered such hope for Platinum Jubilee year in 2022 with his stylish win at Sandown last month.

Tomorrow he is reunited with old friend Stradivarius, who brought the house down with his dramatic success at York a couple of weeks ago.

And today he has the pressure of riding next year's 1,000 Guineas favourite Inspiral (below) when she steps up to Group company for the first time in the Cazoo May

Hill Stakes.

Not that there has been much stress so far in the career of Cheveley Park Stud's homebred filly, who caught the eye even as a yearling when, according to managing director Chris Richardson, she "always carried herself in a special way".

om a slow start to ing debut at n June, then ar for an isted race ndown, rainer ght

She has looked pretty special since she began racing too, recovering from make a winni Newmarket in bounding cle impressive Li success at San which joint-tr John Gosden reckoned mighave been even more decisive had she not run green after hitting the front some way out.

Any 16-1 offered about the Guineas athat run has lo since disappe and she is the quoted at sing odds by any fi t after ong ared only filly gle-figure irm.

The May Hill over the stiff Town Moor mile is quite a test for a juvenile filly and no winner has gone on to win at Newmarket the following spring since Midway Lady in 1986.

Yet subsequent six-time Group 1 scorer Laurens, who won this on her way to the top in 2017, lends the recent roll of honour a hefty lump of class.

This should be a challenge thanks to the presence of Speak, who comfortably disposed of Inspiral's stablemate Natasha when making an eyecatching debut at Kempton last month, and Prosperous Voyage, who shaped like a stayer when a keeping-on third in the 7f Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.

Nor is that an end to Dettori's exertions as he has four rides in total and attempts to make a little history on Free Wind in the Group 2 Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Stakes.

Success in a race known as the fillies' St Leger, as it is run over the same distance as Saturday's Classic, is perfectly feasible as his mount has won three of her four starts this season, including in Group 3 company in France last time.


UCCESS would be his sixth in a race he has won for five different trainers, stretching back to his triumph for Gosden in 1993 on Anna Of Saxony, the greatgranddam of Derby winner Adayar.

It is a measure of the Italian's longevity that not only has every other jockey riding in that race now retired but that they all packed in long ago - the last to quit the saddle was Richard Quinn 13 years back.

And should he win, he would equal the record tally of six Park Hills, set by Sim Templeman and John Osborne jnr in the 19th century. Even Dettori wasn't riding then.


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Author:Racing writer of the year David Carr can see the star rider lighting up Town Moor
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2021
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