No hat-trick in Frankfurt, just the one at Goodwood, courtesy of Frankie Dettori, who rode the first three winners on the Sussex Downs yesterday, plus two more for good measure, a sparkling 779-1 five-timer. The third of them, Satchem, continued the Godolphin team's revival of fortunes; the football-mad Italian must wait until tomorrow to see if his other favourite boys in blue, his beloved Azzurri, can score as prolifically.
After a bleak start to the season, Saeed Bin Suroor's charges are rolling again, just in time for the most lucrative meeting of the summer. Royal Ascot, and its £3,665,000 prize-money, is nine days away and Godolphin have a series of high-profile contenders for its prestige events.
Satchem was the second victor from as many runners since the team ended its self-imposed two-week shut-down and, like Librettist, who struck on Wednesday, was reappearing after a long absence, in his case since last year's 2,000 Guineas.
His short-head win from the match-fit Stronghold marked a fine training feat by Bin Suroor, and an equally meritorious display from Dettori. He produced Satchem, the 100-30 second market choice, to a narrow lead inside the final furlong, was headed as the runner-up rallied, but his strength and balance forced his mount's nose in front again in the final stride.
The son of Inchinor does not have the heady targets of stablemates Electrocutionist, Shawanda, Iffraj and Proclamation; his main entry is the Royal Hunt Cup. "He's had minor problems with his legs and we wanted to give him the time he needed," said a relieved Bin Suroor. "We'll see how he comes out of this before making any definite plans."
Dettori's winners were all from different yards. He opened a good day's work on James Fanshawe-trained Firenze, the 3-1 favourite, in the six-furlong handicap; the five-year-old mare, a sister to top-class sprinter Frizzante, is also Berkshire-bound, with the Wokingham Stakes her target. The penalty for yesterday's win, by a rather comfortable neck, should ensure she gets into the Royal Ascot contest.
On beating Art Eyes a length and three-quarters on Balkan Knight, Dettori led home a one-two for David Elsworth in the mile-and-a-half conditions race. Art Eyes had all her rivals bar her comrade-in-arms in trouble as she set a brisk gallop but once the big gelding - favourite at 5-4 - loomed alongside there was going to be only one outcome.
Wins number four and five also came on favourites as punters hopped on the bandwagon; Musical Romance (4-1) got home by half-a-length in the five-furlong dash for Brian Meehan and Star Of Canterbury (3-1) by a length and a quarter in the three-year-old handicap for Alan Jarvis.
Brazil could not be kept out of the act, in the form of apprentice Silvestre de Sousa, who brought Handsome Cross home the neck winner of the day's most valuable race, the £50,000 Scottish Sprint Cup at Mussleburgh.
The 23-year-old came to Britain last year to ride for David Nicholls, who saddled three of the first four home here.Reuse content