x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Frankie Dettori is boxing clever

The Godolphin jockey has likened Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in England to a heavyweight boxing contest.

Frankie Dettori, the Godolphin jockey, has likened Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in England to a heavyweight boxing contest.

The Italian could land the telling knockout blow on Mahmood Al Zarooni's Rewilding, although there are other big punchers in the race with the likes of Workforce, St Nicholas Abbey and the three-year-old Nathaniel.

Dettori has already won the midsummer showpiece four times - but his admiration for the race has never wavered ever since it was one of only three big European contests he watched as a child growing up in Milan.

Rewilding lowered the colours of the great Australian runner So You Think in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, last month, adding to his victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

With the Royal Ascot win under his belt, confidence is high within the Dubai-based racing operation that he can add another leg of the Qipco British Champions Series to his tally.

"He's been a great horse for me [Rewilding]. He's hard as nails. He's not very big, but his courage is fantastic," Dettori said.

"What a great race it is. As a child I was only able to watch three races in Milan, the Derby, the King George and the Arc, so for me, watching races as a kid was like watching races on the moon.

"To have won all three and to be part of them is always special, it's like the Monaco Grand Prix - the King George is a massive race.

"I've won it four times so it's been lucky for me. I've got a great chance this year so I'm very excited.

"It looks one of the best renewals for years. There might not be many runners, but you can't get better than what will be there.

"I can't wait. The great thing about the King George is that it's a man's race, it's a tough track with an uphill finish and only the good ones come through.

"It's like 12 rounds of a heavyweight boxing match - there is nowhere to hide, three furlongs out the gloves come off and only the best come through, that's why it's so special."

Godolphin received a boost yesterday with Saeed bin Suroor saying he hopes to have White Moonstone and Saamidd back in action before the end of the season.

White Moonstone was one of the winter favourites for the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks after a win in the Fillies' Mile at Ascot while Saamidd was an impressive winner of the Champagne Stakes.

While the filly was injured before the Guineas meeting, Saamidd picked up his problem in the 2000 Guineas.

"We are hoping to have White Moonstone back in September," the Godoplhin trainer said.

"It has been horrible to watch all the classics go by without her running in them. Her form has worked out well, and she was training brilliantly out in Dubai.

"We brought her back to Newmarket in April and her first piece of work was exceptional. Then, after another bit of work, we spotted a fracture and had to stop with her.

"All everybody remembers every year is the classics and it is unfortunate she wasn't able to run in them because we know how good she is.

"It's the same with Saamidd, although he'll be back before her.

"He did his first piece of work [on Monday] and worked well, so we'll bring him back slowly.

"But White Moonstone is a Group 1 winner and Saamidd is a Group 2 winner and they've missed a lot of big races."

Bin Suroor also had news of Khawlah, the filly who won the UAE Derby.

"She is another who picked up a problem but we hope to have her back before the end of the season too, maybe in time for Ascot, hopefully," he said.