by Stable Lad
Well, Royal Ascot has come and gone for another year, but, it indeed has left behind some lasting memories of a few outstanding performances that will stay with us as the season goes by.
The ebullient Frankie Dettori certainly proved that he is no back-number when powering home on Colour Vision in a thrilling Ascot Gold Cup, narrowly beating his stable companion Opinion Poll, and the strong running Red Cadeaux, in a thrilling last furlong battle up the final Ascot Hill, to a finish where all three horses came very close together in the final few strides.
Dettori’s flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure drew huge cheers from the appreciative crowd, obviously happy that the up-beat Italian had sent out a very vibrant message to all and sundry that he was far from finished in his on-going search for winners.
Godolphin should take note, and maybe reinstate him as their number one again, at least until the two younger jockeys in the stable get a little more experience in their trade, for Frankie obviously still has a lot to give.
The expectant crowds were not disappointed in their expectations regarding the displays of the two “talking horses”, Frankel and Black Caviar, for both of them did the business, although in different circumstances.
Frankel, surely now as near to Sea The Stars as ever, once again was scintillating and merciless in his demolition of a small but distinguished field in his race, again coming home as only he liked.
You know, he does seem to be getting better as he gets older.
Black Caviar, on the other hand, although still retaining her spotless record, won her 22nd race, only barely holding on after a dramatic last 100 yards, when she went from coasting to struggling in a matter of strides.
Her jockey said afterwards that the final Ascot Hill was finding her out, and, having taken a massive breath of relief, admitted that she was only half a whisker from losing.
Well, no matter what, an inch is as good as a mile at times, although these winning inches were a little bit too close for comfort for the winning connections on a very historic day.
This weekend at the Curragh we have the Dubai Irish Derby, which will be run for the very first time at the Saturday evening star studded programme, with the race starting time of 7:40pm.
Looking at the race, it would appear to be another day out for Ballydoyle, for they certainly appear to have all of the trump cards.
In an extraordinary situation, it is is quite possible that the stable will incredibly have more than half the field as the horses make their way to the start.
Their Epsom Derby hero, Camelot, heads a strong challenge from the stable, and, on the whole, it would appear that it will be mission accomplished.
Camelot, at long odds-on, looks the business where winning is concerned, although his price will be prohibitive, with the other prime places going to Born To Sea and Astrology.
This is a Curragh card that would hold its own with any meeting in the world, and the executive deserve great credit for putting on the whole dramatic package.
For our Saturday spree we take in the Channel 4 programme at Newmarket, where we can sit back, and enjoy the fun.
In the opener, the brave Fennell Bay can prevail again, with Michelangelo chasing him hard.
The Empress Stakes is the task of Rayaheen, with the lightly-raced Columella appealing as the danger.
The Archer race gives Berling a winning chance, although Dandino may trouble him. Our last prospect is Bannock, in the Criterion, with Firebeam also coming into the reckoning.
That’s yer lot, so, best of luck, and enjoy your weekend!
The Fab Four:
Newmarket: 2:00 Fennell Bay, 2:30 Rayaheen, 3:00 Berling, 3:35 Bannock.