Osaila delivers Frankie’s Fifty
Osaila came with a late run in the Sandringham Handicap, the final race of the second day of Royal Ascot, to give jockey Frankie Dettori his 50th Royal Ascot winner.
The Danehill Dancer filly, who won the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal debut but finished only seventh in the 1000 Guineas, is owned by Al Shaqab Racing and trained by Richard Hannon. She was sent off at odds of 13/2, and won by a nose from the 2/1 favourite Always Smile, owned by Godolphin.
Hannon said: “She’s put on a lot of weight since the Guineas. I don’t know why she didn’t run her race [that day], but we’ve got her back. For a filly like that to carry top weight in a race like this is great. Al Shaqab have got a lot of horses with me and it’s good for all of us.”
Dettori said: “I was quite happy this morning, and then everything went wrong. Euro Charline wouldn’t go in the stalls in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, and I thought it was going to be one of those days. I knew this filly had a great chance and she won brilliantly, so I’ve got it off my back.
“James [Doyle, who rode the runner-up, Always Smile] got first run on me and carved me up a little bit but I got him back! I thought no, I’m not going to beat him, but then the last 100 yards he ran left and I got a tune out of mine, and we crossed the line – whoo, it’s tighter than I thought!
“Al Shaqab saved my career so it means a lot [to win in these colours]. Fifty – what a big number!”
Harry Herbert, racing manager for Al Shaqab Racing, said: “She was well handicapped. She had to do it the hard way, but she’s won very impressively. No immediate plans, but we’ll look to see if there is something at Goodwood maybe.
“Frankie is riding at the top of his game – he looks great, he’s hard as nails, he’s having the year of all years, and it just shows that when your confidence is with you in any sport, then things will happen. I’m thrilled for him. It’s wonderful working with him; his enthusiasm, and his professionalism too, is absolutely fantastic.”
Ascot is Dettori’s favourite racecourse, and one of his biggest moments as a jockey came when he won all seven races at the track on September 29, 1996
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