Frankie Saves The Best For Last

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Frankie Dettori won the QIPCO Gr1 2000 Guineas on Saturday at Newmarket on Chaldean on what was his final ride in the Classic.

The Italian is retiring at the end of the current season and knew he had one more shot at glory in the historic race, to add to his three previous victories in the mile contest.

Never far from the pace, Chaldean (7-2) took a lead off Hi Royal who was just about still in front when he veered across the track, which enabled Dettori to forge into the lead.

Frankie returns victorious on Chaldean (Pic – Racing TV)

The Andrew Balding-trained winner had to dig deep, but he eventually came home a length-and-three-quarter victor from 125-1 shot Hi Royal. Royal Scotsman (11-1) was third with 150-1 chance Galeron in fourth.

Auguste Rodin was sent off the 13-8 favourite but was never travelling for Ryan Moore and trailed home well beaten.

Dettori said: “I was in a fight with Oisin (Murphy on Hi Royal) and once I got rid of him, I thought ‘I’m sure something is going to come’, but I saw plenty of daylight.

“I can’t believe it’s happened really. My last (2000) Guineas, to win it in front of my home crowd, amazing. Winning Classics is difficult. It’s my last season and to cap it off with a Classic is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Balding said after the race: “I was a bit worried about the mile in this ground, but he’s just done a wonderful job, Frankie. We’re making the most of our unconventional prep race (unseated in the Greenham), we might set a trend there! It was a concern beforehand, but it did him some good because he got out there. I’m just thrilled, what a brilliant ride.”

With rain falling throughout the day, the ground had turned soft and the likes of Little Big Bear and Sakheer, who had to prove their stamina, drifted markedly in the betting.

On the other hand Chaldean was well supported, from 5-1 to 7-2 and Dettori always looked comfortable.

Hi Royal briefly gave him something to think about and really stretched the field, with all bar the winner and Royal Scotsman treading water.

Chaldean strode out purposefully, though, to give Balding a second 2000 Guineas success after Kameko in 2020. The famous Juddmonte colours were last carried to glory by the brilliant Frankel, Chaldean’s sire, in 2011.

“What can’t you say about Frankie? Since I’ve been involved in the sport he’s been an omnipresent superstar and what a fitting way to ride his last 2000 Guineas.”

“He always looked to be travelling comfortably, I was just a bit worried about getting past Oisin (Murphy, on Hi Royal) because he can get extra lengths out of horse but once we collared him, I was fairly confident. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long while, it’s a mixture of relief and elation. It will probably sink in in a bit, it’s a big deal.”

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