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Oisin Murphy v Frankie Dettori: analysing the battle for top jockey

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Oisin Murphy currently leads the top jockey standings at Royal Ascot with four winners, but Frankie Dettori is just one behind him and the battle could emerge into a fascinating story on Saturday.

The bookmakers make Murphy an odds-on favourite, as short as 4-9, to maintain his lead with Dettori 2-1 and Ryan Moore the best of the rest at 14-1.

The leading jockey award is given to those with the most winners and if the scores are level, then the title will be settled by the amount of second and third-place finishes. Dettori has won the prize seven times, including in 2019 and 2020.

Such battles are rarely straightforward and there's potential for a few twists and turns throughout Saturday's action...

Murphy vs Dettori: the rides

2.30 - Chesham Stakes

Oisin Murphy appears to have the better chance here in the form of impressive Goodwood debut winner Masekela. Dettori, meanwhile, takes the ride on the intriguing Reach For The Moon who was second on his only run.

Tactical: a Royal Ascot winner last year

3.05 - Jersey Stakes

This is a wide-open race but the two jockeys appear to have outside chances. Dettori's Fundamental shaped with promise when second at Listed level last time while Tactical, for Murphy, was a winner at this meeting last season. Advantage Murphy, just.

3.40 - Hardwicke Stakes

Dettori was due to ride Logician here but that ride was taken out this morning due to the ground. The champion jockey could take advantage aboard Highest Ground and Murphy interestingly has a 21 per cent strike-rate when riding for Sir Michael Stoute.

4.20 - Diamond Jubilee Stakes

The two riders appear to have outsiders again in the final Group 1 of the meeting. Final Song was second at this level in Dubai earlier this season but Dettori's mount was disappointing on her first start in Britain. Happy Power, looking to continue a fine week for the Andrew Balding-Murphy combination, has a bit to prove even if the drop in distance could suit.

5.00 - Wokingham Stakes

Desert Safari is the first of a quality few final rides of the meeting for Dettori, with the Mark Johnston-trained runner certainly considered on the form of his Goodwood win in May. There are ground doubts regarding Above for Murphy.

5.35 - Golden Gates Stakes

The first of two significant chances for Dettori as he rides King Frankel, a desperately unlucky second on Derby Day and only 3lb higher in the handicap here. Foxes Tales, for Murphy, disappointed last time but is an interesting unexposed contender.

6.10 - Queen Alexandra Stakes

A fantastic Frankie ended a 30-year drought in the Chester Cup aboard Falcon Eight and the duo team up again in this marathon to close the meeting. That form is arguably the best in the race. Murphy rides Global Heat for Saeed bin Suroor but there are stamina doubts regarding that horse.

Could Ryan Moore cause a final-day surprise?

Perhaps. He has been Royal Ascot's leading jockey on eight occasions and no rider has a better book of rides on Saturday. 

Point Lonsdale (2.30), Broome (3.40), Dream Of Dreams (4.20) and King's Lynn (5.00) are all favourites in their respective races while Khartoum (3.05) and Stratum (6.10) are key contenders too. 

Ryan Moore: has some excellent rides at Ascot

Moore trails with just one winner, three behind the leader, but he also has five second-place finishes on the board which could be crucial in countback.

It would take something very special, but with a jockey as talented as Ryan Moore you would not rule it out...

Gosdens lead in trainers' standings

The leading trainer scores are just as close with John and Thady Gosden ahead on four winners, one ahead of Andrew Balding and two clear of William Haggas. Balding has the best chances of the trio, so that prize could also go down to the wire.

Godolphin remain the only owner to have multiple winners, so they top the leading owner standings. That could easily change throughout the afternoon.

Saturday's Royal Ascot previews:

2.30 Royal Ascot: 2,000 Guineas favourite Point Lonsdale out to confirm Classic claims in Chesham

3.05 Royal Ascot: 'I think he's a huge price' – leading trainers on their Jersey contenders

3.40 Royal Ascot: can Highest Ground enhance Sir Michael Stoute's superb race record?

4.20 Royal Ascot: 'He's going exceptionally well and looks a million dollars' – Group 1 insight

4.20 Royal Ascot: Dream Of Dreams to dominate in bid to go one better? Graeme Rodway has his say (Members' Club)

5.00 Royal Ascot: 'There is no denying the phenomenal training that has gone into Rohaan'

5.35 Royal Ascot: 'He's a horse we like a lot' – Roger Varian could hold key to big-field handicap

6.10 Royal Ascot: Tom Collins weighs up the chances of classy Falcon Eight for Dettori and Weld

Check out the Racing Post Royal Ascot microsite for the latest tips and odds for the royal meeting. The best Royal Ascot betting advice and exclusive free betting offers all in one place.


The first of two significant chances for Dettori as he rides King Frankel, a desperately unlucky second on Derby Day
E.W. Terms