Ascot: Legendary jockey brings up milestone on Star Catcher.
Frankie Dettori has made a habit of taking centre stage at Ascot – and Star Catcher ensured he did so again after becoming the 250th Group 1 winner of his career in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Suffering the anguish of seeing his beloved Stradivarius beaten in the preceding Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, the popular Italian bounced back in style to secure the milestone moment.
While Star Catcher is not quite in the same league as Enable, she most certainly has a special place in Dettori’s affections, with this win also being the 18th Group One strike of a record-breaking season for the evergreen 48-year-old.
After performing his trademark flying dismount, Dettori – who numbers 19 British Classics among his haul – said: “After I won the Royallieu (on Anapurna), I thought it would be great if I can get 250 on Enable (in the Arc). It’s great to get and what a great number, it must be a European record.
“I am still a bit sour about Stradivarius, but the ground is a lot worse than we thought. I am pleased this filly won. Like you said, from crying to smiling in half an hour!
“She’s lovely, she’s tough, and I think she is going to stay in training. She is a wonderful filly and provided me with my 250th Group One and 18th season. I love her.
“She is a very good filly, that is improving. The race went to plan, but it was a slog for everyone. She had every chance of jacking it in, but she showed great guts.”
Supplying Dettori with a large number of those top-level victories in recent seasons has been Star Catcher’s trainer John Gosden, and after hearing of his trusted ally reaching such a landmark he had nothing but praise.
He said: “It is an extraordinary achievement. He is riding as well as ever. He was a bit downcast after the Long Distance Cup, but he put in a great ride there as he looked like he wasn’t going to win for a bit.” – sportinglife.com