By Simon Jackson at Ascot.
Frankie Dettori bagged his 50th winner at Royal Ascot when he prevailed in a photo finish to win the Sandringham Stakes on Osaila in the last race on Day Two.
The 50th win came 25 years after the first Royal Ascot winner for the Newmarket-based Italian whose first win at this meeting was on Markofdistinction in 1990.
Osaila’s nose win in the Listed contest continued Dettori’s notable association with the Berkshire racetrack where in September 1996 he landed his ‘magnificent seven’ by winning every race on the seven-race card.
Claiming his 50th winner here cements Dettori’s place as the winning-most jockey at Royal Ascot who is still riding. The half-century leaves him fourth in the all-time standings behind Lester Piggott (116), Pat Eddery (73) and Willie Carson (56).
“I have had some bad times but also some really good times, and this is one of them,” Dettori said. “I have been on a fantastic run and it is great to continue it here.
“I’m really enjoying my riding. I can’t really explain it, it is just unbelievable, and I’m hoping I can ride number 51 tomorrow.”
The jockey had earlier finished third on Western Hymn in the day’s feature race, The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes where in another close finish the Dermot Weld-trained Free Eagle beat The Grey Gatsby.
The feature race at Ascot on Thursday is the Gold Cup where Dettori rides outsider Forever Now for his boss John Gosden in the two and a half mile contest.
The market is headed by the Weld-trained Forgotten Rules (11-4). His nearest rival in the betting is Luca Cumani’s Mizzou (9-2), who broke the course record for two miles when winning here in late April.
The four-year-old that day clocked three minutes and 24.12 seconds to win the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes from Vent De Force, who franked the form by landing the Group 3 Cantor Fitzgerald Investment Trusts Henry II Stakes and reopposes in the Gold Cup.
“Mizzou is an Ascot Gold Cup horse hopefully,” trainer’s wife, Sara Cumani said immediately after the course record win at Ascot.
“He is a sweet and gentle horse as you saw today. William [Buick] said he wouldn’t want the ground any livelier.
“We are delighted with him and they went a decent pace as we saw that suited him and everything worked out perfectly.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.