Frankie Dettori, in many ways the racing personality best known to the general public, has said 2023 could be his last season in the saddle.
“I will definitely ride next year, I know it 100%” Dettori told the Sun newspaper about it, for which he appears in the regular Saturday column. “There are still some things to look forward to, but next season could be my last. At the moment I still love it, I ride when I can. But we’ll have to see how I feel this time next year.
“Hopefully someone can find me the July Cup winner! This is the only big race I need. “I have a terrible shoulder, it looks black and bruised. I got hit right [at Newmarket last week] but I feel no pain.’
There have certainly been some ups and downs for Dettori this year. It all started with success at the Dubai World Cup on Country Grammer, but he received extensive publicity in Royal Ascot with his principal employer John Gosden. After a brief hiatus, they reunited and won the Prix Jacques le Marois with Inspiral and the Ebor with Trawlerman. Last weekend was also an eventful one for the 51-year-old, with a heavy fall at Newmarket quickly forgotten after victory at Dewhurst on Chaldean.
Dettori, who has always been synonymous with Ascot after making seven appearances at the track in 1996, has a high-profile ride on Inspiral for Gosden in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes today.
Good morning from Ascot racecourse for the 12th Champions Day card, British racing’s most valuable afternoon and a meeting which will also – barring an almost farm-like reversal – standout colt Baaid will make his last appearance on the track in the Champion Stakes at 4pm (all times BST) .
Essentially a summer sport, this celebration has suffered several times in recent years due to decidedly non-summer weather, and was even forced to switch to steeplechase three years ago to ensure the survival of the card. Only two of the 11 Champions Day cards to date have been played on the good to firm ground that most tracks on the Flat tend to provide, while the other nine have been played on soft or good to soft ground.
However, ahead of Baaida’s swan song the weather was better than it often is in mid-October, but the track is still good to soft and soft in places, and like Ascot very informative moving map show, the “seats” comprise just over half of the 10-stage ride in the special event.
Two of Baaid’s 10 unbeaten career wins have come on good to soft ground, including a narrow but convincing defeat by Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year, but tonight’s win is likely to be softer than anything , that he has experienced to date. In Adair, last year’s Derby and King George winner, he also faces the most experienced competitor he has faced to date.
However, it’s hard to know where Adair is right now as his four-year-old season was limited to one start at Doncaster last month and the mood music in the betting market is not encouraging as he eased from 5-1 to 6-1 on the night.
Baaid, on the other hand, is now a 2-9 chance, while William Hagas, his trainer, starts the day as an 8-11 favorite to win the trainers’ championship for the first time in his career. As Haggas admitted earlier this week, if Baaid does not win the Champion Stakes, he will be 33-1 or 133-1 for the title, regardless of whether Adair, trained by his only serious rival Charlie Appleby, gets the spoils.
Appleby, who is equal money for the title, could extend his current £77,000 lead in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the race before the Champion Stakes, where his three-year-old colt Modern Games is second favorite at 4-1 behind Inspiral, the best the young of last year’s mare.
Appleby also has runners with chances in the Group One sprint, including current overall favorite Creative Force and another big hope in the Fillies & Mares race, where Eternal Pearl takes on Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn. head of the rates department.
Elsewhere on the top class map, Holly Doyle will be looking for a third straight win at Trueshan in the Long Distance Cup when action gets underway at 1.25pm. The choices are in for the six-race card, all of which are broadcast on ITV1 hereand you can follow all the events of the day here on the blog.