Dettori delight as Lancelot Du Lac gives Ivory his biggest prize
Frankie Dettori has won more valuable and high-profile races than the Stewards' Cup, but there was no mistaking the delight on racing's most famous face after he had delivered the biggest prize of trainer Dean Ivory's career on Lancelot Du Lac, who motored to a victory that allowed the jockey a celebratory punch of the air as the pair crossed the line.
Drawn in stall 15, Lancelot Du Lac was one of two runners for Ivory, but the stable's main jockey Robert Winston had been primed to ride Tropics – deemed by the trainer to be an unlucky fifth in the race two years ago – so Dettori was snapped up for the 25-1 winner, who runs in the colours of Michael and Heather Yarrow, winners of another heritage handicap when Tom Sharp scooped the 1984 Cesarewitch.
In the end, Tropics did not run because of the testing conditions, but Winston was not playing Lester Piggott and partnered Stake Acclaim, also for the Yarrows, who finished 15th.
That left Dettori, a Stewards' Cup winner on Magical Memory in 2015, to celebrate another Saturday showpiece success, seven days after Enable stormed home in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
He had to boil himself down to 8st 7lb for her, so would have been thankful his willing ally was among the higher-weighted runners in this £250,000 Qatar-sponsored handicap.
The seven-year-old Lancelot Du Lac, the oldest winner of the race since eight-year-old Shikari's Son in 1995, had three-quarters of a length to spare from Aeolus, while Upstaging and Growl filled third and fourth.
"Dean had two in the race and was sweet on this horse," said Dettori, who treated the crowd to a flying dismount but was later banned by stewards for four days (August 19-22) for careless riding.
"He boiled over in the Wokingham at Ascot, but Dean put a hood on him today and he was very calm, so it made a big difference.
"I was there to be shot at, but in fairness he put his head down and galloped to the line; I didn't have to do much. He had bags of speed and I was able to come across slowly without burning too much petrol, and the rest is history – he's done it really well."
Dettori continued: "Dean tries really hard and, while he doesn't run a massive operation, he does well. I've known him a long time and it means a lot for him to win a big race like this, so well done to him.
"The celebration was a bit of fun. Normally in these big handicaps you're all out to the line, but I was able to have a look and punch the air.
"They came close to me, but in fairness I could feel underneath he was giving me plenty. Never at any moment did I think I was going to get caught."
Dettori had never ridden Lancelot Du Lac and Ivory, who is contemplating the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes for his willing winner, said: "Adam Kirby was going to ride but he had a ride for Clive Cox at Newmarket.
"Frankie's agent Ray Cochrane and I go way back so I phoned him and said I've a spare ride and was it okay for Frankie to ride.
"He said,'Dean, I'd love him to ride for you'."
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