Racing: Dettori stages Russian coup

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The Independent Online
FRANKIE DETTORI had another day to remember at Ascot yesterday when he partnered Russian Revival who landed a gamble in the International Handicap. Back at the scene of his "magnificent seven" in 1996, Dettori made all on the far rail on the top weight, backed from 20-1 in the morning to 9-1 joint favourite.

The race was a triumph for John Gosden, the winning trainer, who also sent out Mubrik to finish two lengths away in second under Richard Hills. Peculiarity (14-1) was first home on the stands side in third place, just ahead of Showboat (14-1), Swallow Flight (the other joint favourite) and Petrus.

Gosden had been considering running the winner in today's Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville and he left the decision to return the Cork and Orrery Stakes runner-up to handicap company until late in the day. "He was the class horse in the race and class has prevailed," Joe Mercer, racing manager to Russian Revival's owner, Maktoum Al Maktoum, said. "He'd been second in the Cork and Orrery and won a Group Three race in France in record time. Top weight didn't make much difference to him as he's a very big horse."

Dettori had won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Daylami on his previous visit to Ascot and a memory from that day helped him record another big-race win on the Royal course.

"I noticed from King George day that the rail was three or four metres in so I knew there was a fresh strip of ground," he said. "I didn't intend to make the running but he is so quick and I didn't want to disappoint him. It was a great performance and John Gosden has done a great job. Horses like Russian Revival are worth their weight in gold - they come back year after year and provide the backbone of a big stable. His main target now is going back to Hong Kong for the big seven-furlong race [Hong Kong International Bowl] in December that he ran so well in to be second two years ago."

At Haydock, First Maite caused an upset in the Coral Handicap, storming home by three lengths in a time just 0.85 seconds outside the course record. Roy Bowring, his trainer, said: "The cut in the ground is the key and he will now go for the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon next week."

Greek Dance returned to winning form in style in the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes, beating Prolix by two lengths. Greek Dance may now go for the Group One Juddmonte International at York a week on Tuesday.