Frankie Dettori, who returned at the Derby meeting two years ago after a six-month ban for using cocaine, scaled the summit of Flat racing for the second time in his career on Saturday when he steered Golden Horn, the favourite, to victory in the Investec Derby.
Dettori performed his famous flying dismount to a huge cheer from the Queen’s Stand after his easy three-and-a-half-length success on Golden Horn. Like Authorized, Dettori’s previous Derby winner in 2007, he was strongly supported by punters around the country and started at 13-8, having been available at 2-1 on Saturday morning.
In the run-up to the Classic, there had been speculation that Golden Horn’s stamina might not stretch to the one-and-a-half-mile trip, but supporters of the colt, who is trained in Newmarket by John Gosden, had little cause for worry at any stage. Once Dettori had eased him past Jack Hobbs, who is also stabled with Gosden, approaching the final furlong, Golden Horn’s jockey was able to enjoy the moment as he galloped to victory.
“It’s unbelievable,” Dettori said afterwards. “I still can’t believe that I have won the Derby again. What a feeling. Fantastic.
“It was brilliant, the horse was magnificent. I was just a passenger.”
Gosden, 64, enjoyed many big-race successes with Dettori earlier in his career and has played a key role in helping to raise the jockey’s profile once again following his six-month drugs ban.
“I won the Derby without him [on Authorized] and he won the Derby without me [with Benny The Dip in 1997],” Dettori said. “Finally after 20 years we have done it together which is really, really special and it means a lot.”
Dettori’s booking for the favourite helped to draw a crowd of 125,000 to Epsom, a 5,000 increase on last year’s race and one of the highest one-day crowds ever seen at a British sporting event.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010