QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot is around the corner, but there is still speculation about who Dettori will ride.
Frankie Dettori is one the most famous and successful jockeys in the history of horse racing, and he is set to take part in his final QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, 21st October 2023. Speculation is still rife about which horse he will ride for each race, with several strong candidates.
The Italian is no stranger to the Ascot Racecourse and has had no shortage of success there. At the time of writing, he has ridden more winners at Royal Ascot than anyone else, with no less than 77 victories. This includes 3 Coronation Stakes wins (Alpine Star – 2020, Inspiral – 2022) and 9 Ascot Gold Cup victories (Drum Taps – 1992 & 1993, Kayf Tara – 1998, Papineau – 2004, Colour Vision – 2012, Stradivarius – 2018, 2019 & 2020, Courage Mon Ami, 2023).
It comes as no surprise that Dettori has a number of wins at the QIPCO British Champions Day over the years. He has won the British Champions Sprint Stakes 5 times (Chummy’s Favourite – 1989, Diffident – 1996, Sampower Star – 2000, Acclamation – 2003 & Kinross – 2022), the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes 3 times (Journey – 2016, Star Catcher – 2019 & Emily Upjohn – 2022), and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes 6 times (Markofdistincation – 1990, Mark of Esteem – 1996, Dubai Millennium – 1999, Ramonti – 2007, Poet’s Voice – 2010 & Persuasive – 2017).
Dettori and many fans across the world hope he can achieve further success in his final British Champions Day at Ascot in October. As mentioned previously, there is still speculation around the horse that the Italian will ride for each race, and below we go through the most likely candidates for each.
QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes
Frankie Dettori will be looking for his 6th win in this race, and of all the races he is set to participate in, there is one horse in particular that he is most likely to ride. Kinross was the favourite in this race last year, and following two victories at Goodwood and York earlier this year, Kinross looks to be a likely pick for Dettori.
QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup
There are a number of horses that are seen as potential rides for Dettori in this year’s Long Distance Cup at Ascot. Arrest is one candidate, as are Courage Mon Ami and Sweet William. The most likely out of the three is Courage Mon Ami, and for good reason, following victory in the Ascot Gold Cup earlier this year.
As for Sweet William, there is a possibility that this may be Dettori’s ride following a second-place finish in the Doncaster Cup in September.
QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
Emily Upjohn won this race with Dettori in 2022 and is a candidate to be ridden by the Italian again for this race in 2023. There is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to come first, but there is still a chance for Emily Upjohn to be chosen for this race. The other notable candidate is Free Wind, who put in a very positive performance in the Yorkshire Oaks last time out, finishing in second place.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Chaldean and Inspiral are two of the standout horses that Dettori could ride in this race. As for Chaldean, this horse is a candidate but less likely to be chosen following a below-par performance at the Prix Jean Prat in July. This is despite victory in the 2000 Guineas back in May 2023. Inspiral looks more likely to be ridden in this race by Dettori, and has a recent win in the Jacques le Marlois in August.
QIPCO Champion Stakes
Bay Bridge, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, is the most recent winner of the QIPCO Champion Stakes and is a strong candidate for Dettori to ride in this year’s race at Ascot. Bay Bridge’s most recent race was the September Stakes at Kempton in September, winning the race ahead of the likes of Candleford, Max Vega and Belloccio.
Onesto is another potential horse that Dettori may ride in the Champion Stakes and is suited to the soft ground for this race. In early September, the Italian jockey did not experience success riding this horse in the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
There are no standout candidates for the Balmoral Handicap, but Frankie Dettori will be extra determined, having never won this race. This will be his last chance to win this race before retirement.
Anticipation is growing for the 2023 QIPCO British Champions Day, with fans coming to Ascot from miles around to witness one of the sport’s greatest jockeys racing at this event for the final time.
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