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Dettori crowned top jockey at Royal Ascot as huge treble makes bookmakers sweat

Frankie Dettori celebrates his 73rd Royal Ascot winner, St James's Palace star Palace Pier
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Frankie Dettori was crowned top jockey at Royal Ascot for the second year in a row with six winners, and he gave bookmakers a major fright when coming agonisingly close to a four-timer on the final day. 

The jockey, who beat Jim Crowley to the title on placings, won three times in the opening four days of the meeting, highlighted by a third Gold Cup aboard super stayer Stradivarius on Thursday. 

He then went into overdrive on the final day to ride a 150-1 treble, winning the Queen Mary aboard Campanelle, the St James's Palace with Palace Pier, and a first Coronation Stakes on Alpine Star for Jessica Harrington.

Palace Pier (right) wins the St James's Palace Stakes under the in-form Frankie Dettori

That led to Sceptical, his ride in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, being heavily backed, but bookmakers avoided a major payout when the £2,800 purchase finished third, denied by just half a length. 

"The first four days of this unusual royal meeting had passed without any great betting dramas, but that man Dettori had other ideas on the final day, and the weight of money running on to Sceptical meant he was sent off the 2-1 favourite," said Coral's David Stevens.

Bookmakers had celebrated the biggest-priced winner in the history of Royal Ascot when Nando Parrado won the Coventry at 150-1, as well big-priced winners of the Wokingham and its consolation race.

Royal Ascot: final-day winners

12.40 Chiefofchiefs, 20-1
1.15 Campanelle, 9-2
1.50 Nando Parrado, 150-1
2.25 Alpine Star, 9-2
3.00 Palace Pier, 4-1
3.35 Hello Youmzain, 4-1
4.10 Hey Jonesy, 18-1
4.40 Who Dares Wins, Evs

"That seemed like a distant memory when Frankie took Sceptical to the front," added Stevens. "To the relief of bookmakers, Hello Youmzain and Dream Of Dreams reeled in the market leader.

"That spared us a four-timer for the punters' favourite that would have undoubted taken the gloss off the week for us. The Dettori treble was still costly but we can't complain about the overall results of this week."

Sceptical (orange silks) finished third in the Diamond Jubilee to save bookmakers from a mega payout

Paddy Power reported a similar result, with Sceptical and Dettori's defeat also saving them from a mega payout.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "The bookies eventually won on the day and indeed the week, but Frankie sure gave us a few scares and it was a huge relief to see him denied a four-timer by wafer-thin margins on Sceptical in the Diamond Jubilee."

However not every bookmaker was celebrating at the end of the meeting, with Ladbrokes reporting they were edged by punters following Dettori's final-day heroics.

The firm's Nicola McGeady said: "It could have been much worse had Frankie ridden a four-timer this afternoon, but a treble for the most popular jockey in the world is still enough to make us sweat.

"It’s been an incredibly close battle between punters and bookies all week, but thanks to Frankie, punters have ended the week on a high."

John Gosden finished the week as top trainer after Palace Pier took his winning total to six.

Hamdan Al Maktoum was named the top owner of the week after six successes, ending Coolmore's run of three successive titles.

Read more: 

Palace Pier edges out Pinatubo to seal 150-1 Dettori treble in St James's Palace

'I've conquered Royal Ascot' – Dettori completes clean sweep on awesome Alpine

Inside the pressure cooker: what it's like for a small yard with Ascot hopefuls

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The bookies eventually won on the day and indeed the week, but Frankie sure gave us a few scares
E.W. Terms