There are few certainties in horse racing but one of them is that Frankie Dettori will win at Royal Ascot.
Thursday in the meet's highlight race, the Group 1 Gold Cup, Dettori got 4-year-old Stradivarius over the line first, giving the 47-year-old jockey six Gold Cup victories in his career and his 60th win at Royal Ascot. Vazirabad was second, Torcedor third. The time for the 2 1/2-mile marathon was 4:21.07.
Stradivarius bided his time in mid-pack for much of the race but was shaken up by Dettori at the top of the stretch. Vazirabad headed him close to home but Stradivarius fought back and gave a final winning burst late.
Called “Mr. Ascot” by many, a beaming Dettori was asked why he performs so well at the prestigious meet.
“I don't know, I come alive here. I love it! exclaimed Dettori, before doing his patented flying dismount.
“He's as fit as anything, and he's riding with hunger,” said Stradivarius' trainer John Gosden. “I think we'll have him around another five years. He said ‘Mike Smith's 52 and he won the Triple Crown.' I though oh no, Frankie in his fifties.”
Stradivarius, who went off as the Gold Cup's 7-4 favorite, is an Irish-bred Sea the Stars colt owned and bred by Bjorn Nielson.