Frankie Dettori has been described as even better than the great Lester Piggott by trainer Mark Johnston after his double success on day two of Royal Ascot.
Firstly, Dettori rode the Johnston-trained Raffle Prize in the Queen Mary Stakes to get his afternoon off to the perfect start.
Then, in the feature race of the day, he rode five-year-old Crystal Ocean to his first Group 1 victory in the Prince of Wales Stakes to give Dettori more success at Ascot, and also provide trainer Sir Michael Stoute an 80th win at the event (Crystal Ocean to win Coral-Eclipse at Sandown July 6).
After the races, Johnston said that Dettori is in a class of his own after the wins.
“He is a superstar at the top of his game,” said Johnston. “On the big day, he is special. No disrespect to Lester Piggott, I grew up with him, he’s a superhero. But to not call Frankie on the same terms would not be fair on Frankie as he has been the most fantastic jockey for British racing.”
Dettori is due to ride in six races at Ascot on Thursday, including the feature race in the Gold Cup where he will saddle the winner from last year in Stradivarius (Stradivarius to win Gold Cup 6/5).
However, trainer John Gosden admits he is concerned that the potential soft ground may hamper him.
Gosden said: “He has that great weapon for a two-and-a-half miler in that he has a phenomenal turn of foot. If it goes soft it blunts his turn of foot and leaves him vulnerable.”
Elsewhere today, Dashing Willoughby took the spoils in the Queen’s Vase to win by half-a-length from Barbados and Nayef Road, an achievement which trainer Andrew Balding was proud of as the horse was lame over the weekend.
“They have worked through the night to get it sorted. I’m proud of their achievement,” he said.
Aidan O’Brien won for the 68th time at Royal Ascot in the final race of the day at Ascot as Southern Hills won the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Odds subject to change