Dettori Flies Again, Wins French Derby

Dettori Flies Again, Wins French Derby
Photo: Associated Press
Frankie Dettori smiles after riding Shamardal to the win in Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club.
Disappointed at Epsom a day earlier, jockey Frankie Dettori rebounded Sunday when Godolphin's Shamardal tallied in the Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I), or French Derby, by a neck over favored Hurricane Run at Chantilly.

The victory gave Shamardal and Dettori a French Classic double after they also took last month's Gainsborough Pouled'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas).

Dettori finished third aboard the Godolphin-owned Dubawi in the Epsom Derby (Eng-I), the jockey's 13th unsuccessful try in the English Classic.

Sunday, Dettori took advantage of a lack of pace to allow Shamardal to dictate control of the race on the front end until there was less than a furlong to go when Hurricane Run and Christophe Soumillon put in their desperate drive.

The Irish-bred Laverock was a half-length behind in third but was found to have interfered with the late-running Ruwi and was placed sixth. That moved Rocamadour up to third with Gharir placed fourth.

Seventeen contested the 1 1/4-mile, 110-yard event on good going.

The son of Giant's Causeway  , who is trained by Saeed bin Suroor, employed similar tactics in capturing the Poulains with Dettori aboard.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford was quick to credit his rider.

"It was a masterful ride on a brilliant horse which doesn't have to make the running unless others fail to do so," Crisford told Racing Post. "The horse and the jockey did it together and if the race had still been a mile and a half we would probably have still run.

"We decided in March that his big race in the summer would be the Jockey-Club," Crisford added. "He has improved enormously since the Poulains and was very relaxed in today's race. We will stick to around this distance which brings in races like the Eclipse and the Juddmonte, although he has plenty of options and a lot of entries."

Dettori, who previously won the Jockey-Club on Polytain in 1992, was ecstatic.

"That was fantastic and as no-one else wanted to make the pace I did it," he related to Racing Post. "Shamardal couldn't really see Hurricane Run but must have picked up when he heard him."

Soumillon blamed the lack of pace for his defeat aboard Hurricane Run, saying, "Frankie rode a fantastic race. We went at a hack canter early on and at about two miles an hour. In another couple of strides we would certainly have won."

Hurricane Run now goes for the Irish Derby (Ire-I), where the son of 1999 French Derby winner Montjeu likely faces another by the same sire, the Epsom Derby hero Motivator.

Doctor Dino (7), Archange d'Or (8), Airex (9), Gold Sound (10), Musketier (11), Vatori (12), Eraser (13), Mister Genepi (14), Silver Cross (15), Scorpion (16) and Falstaff (17) rounded out the order of finish. The final time was 2:09.

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