Dettori is the hero again as Without Parole dazzles in front of Harry and Meghan
On this day in 2011, much to the consternation of Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel only scrambled home in the St James's Palace Stakes.
Seven years later the incomparable one's son Without Parole landed the same prize in similar fashion. This time, the reaction of connections was more delight than relief.
For while Frankel went to Royal Ascot off the back of his extraordinary 2,000 Guineas triumph, Without Parole had been no more than workmanlike in landing a Sandown Listed race. Yet John Gosden knew him to be far better than he showed that day. He was right. He now believes the horse can be better again.
Whatever Without Parole does in the future, his achievement this day gave Canadian owner-breeder John Gunther what he described as the highlight of his life, even allowing for the fact he and daughter Tanya bred this year's American Triple Crown champion Justify.
They sold that one. After seeing him reach no more than 650,000gns in the Tattersalls sales ring they decided to keep this one.
It proved to be a shrewd move, for Without Parole – who would have contested the 2,000 Guineas but for a setback – is now unbeaten in four races after repelling the late thrust of one Ballydoyle raider, Gustav Klimt, having overhauled another member of that team, the Ryan Moore-ridden US Navy Flag, midway up the straight.
It was hard work – as evidenced by Frankie Dettori receiving a seven-day whip ban that rules him out of the Coral-Eclipse, plus a £4,300 fine – but just as Frankel showed his St James's Palace form to be anything but a true reflection of his ability, Without Parole may well do the same.
"I was afraid of Ryan when he got those three lengths in the straight, so I went after him with all guns blazing," said Dettori, who had the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Harry and Meghan to their friends – laughing on the victory podium.
"If I could ride the race again I might wait a hundred yards more because a furlong and a half out I found myself in front with nobody to help me. I was like one of those rowers in that race on the Thames trying to get to the line."
Without Parole did not sink – although the way Gosden referred to the animal's belly, that is something of a surprise.
"He's still learning and at the moment has a bigger middle than me, which is not a good thing in a racehorse," said Gosden.
"He wouldn't have been worldly enough for the Guineas. You saw a little bit of that today on the bend, where he was green. This was the huge target but he'll be in the Sussex, the Jacques le Marois and he could go to York.
"He'll improve and get sharper but he's incredibly laid-back, just like Cracksman. Maybe I'm lucky to have two laid-back Frankels."
This proved not to be Aidan O'Brien's lucky day, while it was also frustrating for Roger Teal, whose 2,000 Guineas second Tip Two Win followed home France's Wootton in fourth. Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Romanised was only seventh.
"It was disappointing but we'll dust ourselves off," said Teal. "We might drop him back to seven furlongs."
There will be other chances for Teal and his star, but there will be no chance of wins for Dettori over the seven days he must sit out through suspension.
Reacting to the ban, he shrugged his shoulders and said: "Sorry." Asked what he did to make the duchess laugh, he added: "When I told her my son would be very pleased I was getting the trophy from her, she giggled. I think my kids will be more impressed about that than me winning the race.
"It’s fantastic to have such young monarchs presenting the trophy. I’m very humbled."
There were also words from Dettori's manager, Peter Burrell, this time on the subject of his client not being booked for Al Shaqab Racing's Royal Ascot runners, despite him having a retainer with Sheikh Joaan.
"Frankie has a contract with Al Shaqab until July," said Burrell. "He will ride for them whenever requested. The fact he hasn't been asked to ride for them this week may answer everybody's questions."
Based on Dettori's day at Ascot, which ended with him completing a treble for himself and Gosden, the world's most famous jockey will almost certainly cope just fine.
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