Racing: Dettori misses a turn

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The Independent Online
Moonax, perhaps the world's naughtiest horse, threw away the Prix du Cadran in bizarre circumstances for the second successive year here yesterday. Twelve months ago, Moonax turned his head to bite the winner Always Earnest a few strides from the post before going down by a whisker; this time he tried to dive back into the stable yard a furlong out.

The Barry Hills-trained chestnut, who had already tried to dislodge Frankie Dettori with a mulish display of bucking before the start, started to stay on as Thierry Jarnet sent Nononito clear off the final turn. Unfortunately, it was in the wrong direction and by the time he resumed his original course, it was a length too late. A rueful Dettori said: "I think he just wanted to go home."

Double Trigger, backed to favouritism by the large British contingent, once again proved a disappointment at Longchamp. Ill at ease on the soft ground, he was under pressure early in the straight and finished fifth, a place ahead of the other British raider Always Aloof.

But it was largely business as usual for Dettori, who compensated Sheikh Mohammed for Moonax's antics with a Group Two double on the John Gosden- trained pair Annaba and Flemensfirth.

Annaba - not to be confused with today's Prix de l'Abbaye favourite Anabaa - headed an Anglo-Irish clean sweep in the Prix de Royallieu with a runaway defeat of Whitewater Affair and Zafzala. The filly revelled in the soft ground and her first stab at 12 furlongs and came home four lengths clear. Flemensfirth notched up a remarkable double in the Prix Dollar, not having run since winning the race last year.

It was so nearly three out of five for the raiders, but Peter Chapple- Hyam's French jinx struck again when Monza was demoted to second place after gamely holding off New Frontier by a nose in the Prix de Conde. The Manton trainer, whose Erin Bird was disqualified at the Arc meeting two years ago, assumed the worst when the steward's klaxon sounded - "There goes another one" and bowed to the inevitable after seeing the head-on replay.

Monza, with John Reid in Robert Sangster's colours, was probably the winner on merit, but he hung left under pressure all the way up the final furlong, forcing Andre Fabre-trained New Frontier and Jarnet to badly hamper Dettori on the fourth- finisher Keroub in a knock-on effect. By the time Reid, who picked up a four-day suspension for the transgression, switched his whip from left to right the damage had been done.

In a finish of necks in the Prix de Lutece, Chapple-Hyam's Chief Contender found Tarator - who gave Jarnet, who also won the claimer, a four-timer - and Khairzimi too strong. Clerkenwell was unplaced.

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