Frankie Dettori Stars at Royal Ascot on the Impressive Gregory

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Thousands flocked to Ascot Racecourse this week as the English countryside basque in the delightful British summertime sun. The pull was that of Royal Ascot, an ancient thoroughbred horse racing venue that attracts a varied crowd, from British sports fans to famous names and even royalty. And the 2023 renewal was something special for jockey Frankie Dettori.

The most famous rider in professional racing across the UK and Europe, the Italian is also one of the best-known worldwide. He is a multi-award-winning jockey who has given fans unforgettable moments on the flat and over jumps. And at 52 years old, he’s not about to sit back and enjoy retirement. 

Frankie is nearing the end of his career, but results in Berkshire prove the 5ft 4inch battler hasn’t lost any ambition or talent with age. Bettors love Dettori and continue to trust him with bets at sportsbooks across the UK, Ireland, and the best California sportsbooks. And he rarely lets them down.

Dettori scores on Gregory

Dettori had already told fans and officials this would be his last Royal Ascot meeting, and that didn’t go unnoticed by lovers of the sport. Racing enthusiasts knew the little champion would want to go out with a bang, and they were right. Frankie has been as good as we’ve seen him at Ascot this year, leaving fans desperate for more.

Dettori made headlines on Wednesday after winning the Queen’s Vase sitting on the back of the utterly impressive Gregory. The pair were betting favorites before the off, with the bookies’ odds suggesting failure wasn’t an option. The breeding of Gregory and the experience of Frankie was a winning combination, but the duo was driven hard to the line, holding on for a pulsating victory.

The Group 2 Queens Vase was run over 1m 6f on good ground with conditions perfect for this exciting 14-runner race. Chesspiece was the second favorite with the public, and his odds showed that, but he failed to land a blow on the winner. James Doyle’s ride was unable to deliver, finishing third behind Frankie and runner-up Oisin Murphy on Saint George.

Frankie stays relaxed

Despite being one of the most experienced and successful riders ever to race, Dettori admitted he had doubts over when his next Ascot winner would land. The Italian hit the post, finishing as the runner-up three times on the opening day.

Speaking to the world’s media gathered at the winner’s enclosure, Dettori said of his relief at finally getting off the board at Royal Ascot 2023, his final appearance. But things fell into place nicely for career win number 78 at this famous venue, and the joy was evident on the jockey’s face as he swept across the line aboard a machine in Gregory.

As Frankie made his famous flying dismount from Gregory, the inevitable questions about his future began. Could he be tempted to return next year for at least one appearance? Dettori took it all in his stride as he so often does, but we noticed that he didn’t reject the idea of riding Gregory here in 12 months.

Exciting times for Gregory

Gregory may have had to dig deep for the desired win, but his class was not doubting. The three-year-old bay colt is trained by John Gosden and owned by Wathnan Racing. Following that win before a Royal audience, Gregory took his thoroughbred racing record to three wins from three races on the flat. 

He has an impressive 100% record, and who would bet against him adding more wins to his card, with or without the help of Dettori? Big races are now in the pipeline for Gregory, and we could see him in at least one of the British classics this year or early in 2024.

The speedster made a winning debut at Haydock, scoring over a mile and three furlongs. Victory in his second race at Goodwood in May had him fighting fit for Royal Ascot, and connections played a blinder by choosing the perfect race and ensuring Gregory was primed for the treble.

How he performed in Berkshire led journalists to query his next move, and we could see rider and racer reunite for a crack at the final classic of the year, Doncaster’s St Leger. Here’s hoping.

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