Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Royal Ascot: Frankie Dettori ecstatic after clinching Prince of Wales’s Stakes

Italian jockey wins double, including aboard Raffle Prize in Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes before guiding Crystal Ocean

Frankie Dettori celebrates powering Crystal Ocean to victory in The Prince Of Wales's Stakes on Day 2 of Royal Ascot. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Frankie Dettori celebrates powering Crystal Ocean to victory in The Prince Of Wales's Stakes on Day 2 of Royal Ascot. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

Frankie Dettori lit up the Royal Ascot festival with a double on Day 2.

First, the Italian jockey guided Raffle Prize, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, to victory in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes. Then he clinched the day’s biggest prize, the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, atop Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean.

Dettori was made to dig deep on Raffle Prize, trained by Mark Johnston, to edge out Wesley Ward’s Kimari in pouring rain and win the race for two-year-old fillies. Final Song, trained by Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, was a further length behind in third in the 25-runner field dash over the five-furlong trip.

For Raffle Prize, stamina came into play in the end as she had won over six furlongs, while Kimari's only start was over four-and-a-half.

“When I saw Wesley's horse upside of mine, I thought, 'Oh my God, he's a good friend of mine. If I beat him, he'll go crazy’,” Dettori exclaimed.

“She was very brave and she's run longer before, over six, so I knew at the end I would prevail because the other one has only run over four-and-a-half.

“I come here to win, I didn't come here to lose and, when it's that close, it's in the lap of the gods.”

Dettori was back in the winner’s enclosure 70 minutes later after steering Crystal Ocean to an impressive victory over Aidan O’Brien’s Magical. Crystal Ocean raced prominently, and Dettori managed to inspire the five-year-old to hold off Magical by a length-and-a-quarter. Waldgeist, the French raider, was a further three-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.

“I knew he stays really well so I kicked him early and I didn't hear anything coming,” Dettori said after notching up his 62nd winner at the royal meeting. “He was still full of running and I didn't feel she [Magical] would get past me.

"Everything went to plan.”

On his part, Stoute said he was "delighted" after the "high-class horse" won.

“He is just a very admirable racehorse. There has been great teamwork here: James Savage, my head lad; Corado and Katie Reed, who rides him a lot, as well as Ted Durcan [the seven-time UAE champion jockey].”

Dettori could have gone home with a treble had Daniel Tudhope not got Move Swiftly up in front in the final strides to edge Rawdaa in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes, the day's fourth race.

The result took Tudhope’s tally to three after his double on the opening day of the royal meeting.

Earlier, Oisin Murphy produced Andrew Balding’s Dashing Willoughby with a strong late run to clinch the Group 2 Queen’s Vase from Barbados and Nayef Road.

“It's just about coming through the motions late," the winning jockey said. "I thought I was on the best horse, and I'm delighted to ride a Royal Ascot winner for my first boss."

Updated: June 19, 2019 09:05 PM

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