Friday, 25 September 2009
Frankie Dettori strikes gold at Ayr Racecourse
By: Iain Ferguson
A THUNDEROUS roar echoed around Ayr Racecourse on Saturday as Frankie Dettori performed his famous flying dismount from Jimmy Styles after landing the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup.
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Racing’s undisputed king had struck gold onboard the 14/1 shot and oh how he loved it. He yelped in delight, punched the air and ran from the winners enclosure to the weighing room waving his riding hat above his head.
The crowd loved it, television viewers loved it and as the sun lit up the Craigie track it was a moment you were proud to admit ‘I was there’.
The 2009 William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup will go down in history as Frankie’s Day and 12,500 racegoers were happy to share it with the Italian.
As stories go this was a fairy tale. Frankie had never won the race despite having ridden in it many times. His horse had been crying out for fast ground and a week earlier that looked a forlorn hope but everything clicked on the day.
Jimmy Styles hit the front inside the final furlong and held on to deny Barney McGrew (20/1) and jockey Tom Eaves by a head with Knot In Wood (11/1), the mount of Barry McHugh, third and Evens And Odds (Adrian Nicholls) fourth.
Frankie milked the moment and said : “This is a race I have dreamed of winning since I was in short trousers. Its very special to me I have been coming here for many years and I have written my name into the record books of this great race.”
Trainer Clive Cox was also a very happy man after being involved in controversy over the public draw for the race. His representative lost the connection to the trainer’s phone and as a result their request for stall 19 was refused because they’d exceeded the minute allowed to them. Jimmy Styles was put in the last available stall – number 15 and went on to win.
Clive admitted : “With the low numbers doing best it was easier to get over to the far side from 15 than 19 so at the end of the day its worked out well.”
Frankie went on to complete a big race double when the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Prince Siegfried (11/8 fav) won the williamhill.com Doonside Cup by three and a quarter lengths from Baila Me (7/1).
Trainer of the meeting was undoubtedly Richard Fahey who saddled an incredible eight winners over the three days including Baldemar (18/1) to land the first ever running of the William Hill (Ayr) Bronze Cup and Kaldoun Kingdom (8/1) to win the William Hill (Ayr) Silver Cup. Both were ridden by Barry McHugh who just failed in his quest for the Gold Cup when he rode Knot In Wood to finish third.
The Group 3 Laundry Cottage Stud Firth Of Clyde Stakes went the way of 33/1 shot Distinctive, ridden by Tom Eaves for Brian Smart, who sped clear of Midnight Martini (12/1) inside the final furlong to win comfortably.
Other notable winners over the three days included Mister Manannan (15/8 fav) for the David Nicholls – Adrian Nicholls partnership in Friday’s Mac Asphalt Harry Roseberry Stakes; Centigrade (3/1 fav) in the Nigel Angus Memorial Nursery Handicap under Hayley Turner and Demolotion (9/1) in the williamhill.com/bonus25 Handicap for the Kilkerran Cup which was trained by Noel Wilson and ridden by Gary Bartley.
Ayr next races on Thursday 1 October with the first race at 2.20pm.
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