The Duke’s Monday Review – Brilliant Dettori

Frankie Dettori has won so many high profile races it’s sometimes hard to keep track.

Every other week it seems he is residing in the winners’ enclosure after a typically exciting flying dismount. But at the weekend, even the extravagant Italian seemed more delighted than ever to land the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.

Perhaps it is because Lancelot Du Lac was trained by Dean Ivory, and this was by far and away the trainer’s biggest win.

The Stewards’ Cup has a prestige to it that doesn’t come with every big handicap.

Maybe it is because it is held at Goodwood, regularly voted the most beautiful track in the United Kingdom. Indeed, few tracks around the world have a panorama that can compete. Perhaps Cheltenham as the mist rises up towards Cleeve Hill, maybe Santa Anita in the Californian sunshine. Not many would argue that Goodwood is truly glorious, although more so when it isn’t chucking it down with rain.

Could it be the history of The Stewards’ Cup that makes it so special. Run since 1840, there have been some cracking winners of the race. Willie Carson bagged a few victories in the race, including aboard the excellent filly Lochsong.

Funnily enough, Lochsong provided Frankie Dettori with some amazing winners, including three Group 1s, after he took over the mount from Carson and Lester Piggott in 1993.

That just shows the longevity of Dettori. There are few sportspeople who can show that kind of top class ability over such a long period of time.

The great Roger Federer, in my opinion the best tennis player ever, won his first Wimbledon in 2003. Dettori has been mixing it at the top level for over a decade longer. One day he will retire, but at the moment it just seems the ebullient Italian master can keep going forever.

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