Racing: Diktat has the final word

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EVERYTHING COMES to he who waits and Frankie Dettori, after riding a race of which the late Harry Wragg would have been proud, had the last laugh in the Sprint Cup at Haydock yesterday when he produced Diktat to cut down Bertolini with a brilliant burst of speed almost in the shadow of the winning post.

Wragg gained the nickname "the head waiter" for his audaciously patient riding style between the wars, but even Wragg might have struggled to keep his nerve on Diktat, who spent most of the six-furlong contest, a distance which is on the short side for him, trapped behind a wall of horses under the stands rail as Bold Edge and Bertolini disputed the lead.

But Dettori kept his cool on the 13-8 favourite and, when he finally saw daylight inside the final furlong, Diktat justified his rider's low temperature by producing a remarkable turn of foot to peg back Bertolini with Arkadian Hero, who kept on onepaced on the outside, running on for third place.

It was Godolphin's 12th Group One victory of the season but, more importantly, Dikat's second in one of the 18 Group One races in Britain, Ireland and France which, by dint of being all-aged, genuinely live up to the Group One championship race ethic. Diktat had previously landed the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville over six furlongs and 110 yards. Only Stravinsky - July Cup and Nunthorpe Stakes - has achieved as much this term although surely Royal Anthem, the International Stakes winner, will join them after he has contested the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Saeed bin Suroor, Diktat's trainer, said: "We are getting closer to realising our dream of 15 Group One wins [in a season]. Coming here we were a little bit worried about the ground but when we checked the track we knew it was genuinely good."

Dettori was more concerned about the distance to cover rather than the ground. He said: "He's a true seven-furlong horse but this horse never ceases to surprise me. It was a question of not losing too much ground early on, so I could be in with a shout at the finish. With one furlong to go Bertolini was three lengths clear but Diktat knows where the winning post is."

Whether Diktat will stay in training next season is undecided but he will be back in action next month with the Group One Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs at Longchamp pencilled in for his next outing.

In the unlikely event of either Aljabr or Fly To The Stars proving a match for Sendawar, the Prix D'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) and St James's Palace Stakes winner, in the Prix du Moulin over a mile at Longchamp today, Godolphin will make it Group One win No 13 this year.

At Epsom, Yavana's Pace landed the September Stakes, while at Thirsk in the Hambleton Handicap, a trial for the Cesarewitch Handicap in the days when it was run over two miles, but nowadays conducted over a mile and a half, went to Fatehalkhair.

l Iscan may have to miss the St Leger because there is insufficient time for him to pass a stalls test. However, Sir Michael Stoute, his trainer, may yet be able to gain dispensation from the Jockey Club to run the colt.