Dettori Wins Second Hong Kong Riding Competition

Dettori Wins Second Hong Kong Riding Competition
Photo:
Frankie Dettori, in his customary leap off winner Noble Boy.
Frankie Dettori, Godolphin Racing stable's main rider, took home his second victory in Hong Kong International Jockeys' Championship at Happy Valley Racecourse Wednesday night.

In a close contest in the three-race contest, the Italian-born jockey representing United Arab Emirates beat the leading Australian star, Damien Oliver, by one point.

Dettori won the first race and earned 12 points with odds-on Noble Boy. He was awarded two points while fifth in each of the next legs of the competition, bringing his total to 16. After finishing fourth in the second leg, Oliver won the final race aboard Lomond's Fay. Olivier Peslier won the middle leg on Successful Spirit.

Dettori received a check for HK$200,000 and Oliver received HK$100,000 for his effort. Eddy Lei did the best of the home riders by finishing fifth with seven points. American Gary Stevens finished in a tie for sixth with six points.

"It is tremendous to be able to come back to Hong Kong and do something like this," said Dettori, who won the competition in 1999. "I have certainly had a terrific start to this week. Now the serious business is on Sunday."

Dettori rides Ekraar, China Visit and Tobougg for Godolphin in the Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin on Sunday.

"I would have loved to have won the championship but when you are going against guys like Frankie, Olivier Peslier and the rest, you are in for a tough ride," Oliver said. "Second still looks pretty good. I'm going to celebrate and give myself a drink."

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