Dettori delivers on only ride
Frankie Dettori delivered Ardad with a well-timed challenge to claim top honours in the Pepsi Max Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.
Ardad and Frankie Dettori (left) come with a late surge to win the Pepsi Max Flying Childers Stakes.
Winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, the Kodiac colt had subsequently disappointed in the July Stakes at Newmarket and the Gimcrack at York but there was some interesting money floating around for it this morning and having been a 14/1 chance in a place earlier in the day, it was as a 5/1 shot that he successfully dropped back to the minimum distance on Town Moor.
Dettori positioned John Gosden's charge towards the rear of the field early on, but he could be spotted travelling powerfully nearest the stands' rail entering the final two furlongs.
Once Dettori got to work, Ardad picked up well and got up to beat dead-heaters Legendary Lunch and The Last Lion with Afandem fourth in a tight finish.
Dettori said: "I didn't expect him to win because the ground was drying up a bit, but he's very gutsy and really sticks his head out. He was my only ride today, so I made it worthwhile.
"We've realised five furlongs is his best distance. We tried him over six and he was too keen and didn't finish. He's proved to be a nice sprinter."
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to winning owner Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, said: "We've been getting the trip wrong.
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"We thought he wanted very soft ground, but we got away with it today. It was on the easy side yesterday and they've changed it to good to firm today.
"The main thing is the trip. He's quick and five furlongs is his trip.
"We'll look at the Cornwallis. That would probably be better for him as he should get easier ground. Soft ground is a big advantage.
"I wouldn't have thought he'd go for the Abbaye. I think he'll be a five-furlong horse next year as well. We've tried him twice at six furlongs and it failed. He's not a big horse but he's all heart and he picks up well."
Richard Hannon said of Legendary Lunch: "It's great to have our horse back. We always thought he was a pretty good horse and it looked there to me like he's a six-furlong horse.
"He was a bit out on his own on the far side, so we're very pleased with that.
"He had a nice break after Newbury and looked there like he wanted to get it all over and done with as quickly as possible. He's in the Middle Park and I think we will go from there."
The Last Lion's trainer, Mark Johnston, said: "It wasn't that long since his last race and he was a bit warm beforehand, so I was fearing the worst, but again he's thereabouts. That's him.
"The going description is a bit odd. This horse, we know, handles cut in the ground very well, but he goes on any ground. They are calling it good, good to firm in places. We would say it is on the soft side of good if anything – it looks loose on top."
Like Legendary Lunch, The Last Lion is now set to head next for the Middle Park Stakes.
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