Daylami's day to remember

It was a day which needed a fairytale horse, a white charger, and it was day which gave us Daylami. After all his confederates had been mown down, Godolphin's great horse emerged through the battlefield smoke here in Florida to save them all.

It was a day which needed a fairytale horse, a white charger, and it was day which gave us Daylami. After all his confederates had been mown down, Godolphin's great horse emerged through the battlefield smoke here in Florida to save them all.

Daylami won the Turf at Gulfstream Park and he also won the accolade as the first European horse to win a Breeders' Cup event at this venue. Before he stepped on to the grass here 13 of his running mates had failed on this the third rotation here, 44 had gone west in all.

It was a rescue for European horses and a considerable rescue for his rider. Frankie Dettori died a death at this event 12 months ago when Swain failed at Churchill Downs and his reputation disappeared in a hail of American arrows. This was his response.

"I'm glad I've laid Swain's ghost," he said as he hurled his helmet into the air. "This is sweet redemption. It took me six months to get over Swain and everyone buried me. Now Daylami has got me out of trouble."

Dettori has admitted his will to win was a destructive influence last year and he promised a cooler performance. He was good to his word. Daylami was not rushed but slotted on to the rail in mid-division. There was little urgency until he reached the top bend and then a lot came all at once. Daylami was driven for his life in probably the last race of his life and he did not disappoint as he registered Godolphin's first Breeders' Cup success.

The five-year-old burned down the stretch to overtake Royal Anthem, Buck's Boy and Dettori's own emotions. The rider looked to the cloudy sky and blessed himself. On his return, Dettori accomplished the highest flying dismount of his career and the relief came tumbling out. "Come on me," he yelled at the crowd. "What about Swain?" he asked them.

"A lot of people out there were waiting for me to mess up again. Revenge is a dish best served cold and today I have had mine freezing cold. Everyone judged me on one ride.

"I made a mistake but you cannot judge a 10-year career on that. It has been a long 12 months and I was in tears in the last 100 yards out there. I could not believe it was happening."

Daylami and the fairytale apart, there were a lot of thorns and ogres around for the visitors yesterday. The hurricane season lingered a little longer than normal here in southern Florida. And the debris included the aspiration of 17 European horses.

Breeders' Cup XVI, the fanfared Olympics of the turf, blew a series of raspberries for the visitors at the start of the games. One by one hopes shrivelled in the Sunshine state.

Was it the weather which was affecting the visitors in this US v Europe challenge, a sort of riders' cup? Or was it the skill of the home-based trainers and jockeys? Whatever the reason, the Americans blew away most of Europe's best-known names.

France's Louve Mysterieuse was the first to succumb in the Distaff. She finished next to last, as did Aidan O'Brien's Warrior Queen in the Juvenile Fillies' race. "It was dirty out there," Michael Kinane said. At least we thought it was Kinane inside the pebble-dashed jockey's face.

O'Brien's Mull Of Kintyre was fourth in the Juvenile, but Kinane's greatest disappointment came aboard the fastest horse in Europe. Kinane has strapped himself to Stravinsky this year and let the rocket go and, once again, there was a surge yesterday, even if it did not last the whole journey of the Sprint. In the straight the peppered material of the colt's blinkers began to nod slowly up and down and we knew the game was up. Stravinsky struggled in sixth.

"He travelled really sweet, but, if anything, he showed too much speed early on and could not sustain it," Kinane reported. "Turning into the straight I thought he was going to do great things, but then it was still a great run for a three-year-old."

Docksider was a proud third in the Mile for John Hills, a race which Dettori and Lend A Hand looked like winning until three horses fell on him, like a hounds on a fox, in the shadow of the post. But Dettori was to have his time and when we remember Breeders' Cup XVI it will not be for 17 losers, but for one compelling, reputation-reviving win.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SEO Specialist

£21000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an e...

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat