Author: Derek Thompson

FRANKIE DETTORI: wow, what a jockey! And 22 years on from Dubai Millenium’s victory in the 2000 Dubai World Cup he did it again on Country Grammar in the 2022 Dubai World Cup! He might be the wrong side of 50 in terms of age but the Italian born and Newmarket based jockey showed that he still one of the best riders in the world bringing the Bob Baffert American trained runner through with a fantastic late run to land the spoils.

He performed his famous flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure that thrilled the massive crowds at Meydan and millions watching on tv around the world. I’m privileged to have known Frankie since he arrived in Newmarket from his native Italy as a raw young 17yo apprentice. He used to live in a small flat in Newmarket and had a mechanical horse in his lock up garage which he used to work out on for many hours every night in an effort to make him stronger.

That hard work certainly paid dividends because he became not only the most successful but the most popular jockey in the world. And what about Tadhg O’Shea, the perennial UAE Champion Jockey? He won a first Group One, the Golden Shaheen, on outsider Switzerland. And what a result this was for new trainer Bhupat Seemar who only took over the running of his uncle Sateesh’s Zabeel Stables a few months ago.

What a way to celebrate your first season as a trainer! And what about Japan? An incredible five timer for Japanese trained horses, following on from their successes at the recent Saudi Cup meeting this proved again that Japanese horses are now world leaders and it is great to see. Back in the UK the Former Champion Jockey Silvestre de Souza and trainer Mick Channon, the former England footballer, teamed up to win the £100,000 Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster with outsider Johan.

There was the maximum 22 runners over the straight mile for the traditional curtain raiser to the flat but Johan routed his rivals and won in tremendous style. Formerly trained by William Haggas, Johan joined Channon a few months ago and the change of location has obviously worked for he won like a really good horse! Rossa Ryan had a day he will never forget when the Irish born jockey rode a treble on the opening day of the new flat racing season at Doncaster.

He started off in the best possible way winning the Brocklesby, the traditional curtain raiser for the 2yos, on the Richard Hanson trained Persian Force. The favourite won in great style by nearly five lengths and looks a potential Royal Ascot 2yo. Ryan made it a double on Arthur’s Realm for Ed Dunlop in the Cammidge Trophy and pulled off the treble on with hot favourite Chindit in the Doncaster Mile to complete a double for Richard Hannon.

Meanwhile over in Ireland John Murtagh, the former UAE Champion Jockey, trained the winner of the Irish Lincoln on The Curragh when favourite Raadobarg came home in front. Murtagh, who was one of the world’s top jockeys is now making a big name for himself as a trainer and looks set for another good year! And finally… well done to young jockey Benoit de la Sayette.

Twelve months ago he rode the winner of the Lincoln Handicap and looked set for a great season but then he was banned for using an illegal substance. He served a six month ban and apologised for his mistakes but he has worked hard and on his first ride back at Wolverhampton on Saturday he rode a winner! Well done Benoit!