Let’s enjoy Doncaster Cup hopeful Stradivarius while we can - says Frankie Dettori

FRANKIE Dettori paid tribute to the longevity of Stradivarius ahead of his bid to win a second Doncaster Cup – four years after he finished third in the St Leger on Town Moor.

This was Frankie dettori and Stradivarius 9right) beating the William Buick-ridden Spanish Mission in last month's Lonsdale Cup at York.

FRANKIE Dettori paid tribute to the longevity of Stradivarius ahead of his bid to win a second Doncaster Cup – four years after he finished third in the St Leger on Town Moor.

John and Thady Gosden’s chestnut won on his only other visit to South Yorkshire in this corresponding event two years ago, which was part of an incredible 10-race winning streak.

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While the ever popular stayer has perhaps not quite been at his brilliant best this year, he did return to winning ways last time out in a tremendous tussle with Spanish Mission at York’s Ebor Festival just three weeks ago. And Dettori has formed a close bond with the seven-year-old who has won 18 out of 29 starts and could be racing in Yorkshire for a final time following a career that has yielded over £3m for owner Bjorn Nielsen and connections.

Frankie Dettori celebrates last month's Lonsdale Cup win of Stradivarius.

“I think he only does what needs to be done these days.

“He’s been great for the sport, I love him dearly,” said the 50-year-old jockey before mesmerising Doncaster’s crowds yeterday with a big race Ladies Day double courtesy of Inspiral and Free Wind.

“He got a tremendous reception at York.

“He’ll probably get one at Doncaster. He’s not going to be here forever, so let’s enjoy him.

Inspiral ridden by Frankie Dettori on their way to winning the Cazoo May Hill Stakes on Ladies Day of the Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster racecourse.

“He’s done so much for the sport. Let’s hope he does the business. As for tactics, I usually improvise with him. With him we have to play it by ear. Luckily, he knows where the winning post is.

“He’s been fabulous for the sport and the reception I got at York was such a thrill. People love him, it’s great.”

With Mark Johnston’s Ascot Gold Cup hero Subjectivist sidelined by injury, Alan King’s Trueshan, winner of the Goodwood Cup, is now chief rival to Stradivarius and Dettori.

However the two have yet to meet since Stradivarius put in a below-par display behind the Hollie Doyle-inspired Trueshan on Champions Day at Ascot last October.

Free Wind ridden by Frankie Dettori wins The Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies' Stakes during Ladies Day of the Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster racecourse.

Given Trueshan excels in soft ground and rain is not guaranteed, King is playing a waiting game like at York when his horse was a late absentee.

King warned: “If the current forecast of very little rain is correct then he won’t run.”

As for yesterday’s action, Inspiral solidified her position at the head of the betting for next year’s 1000 Guineas with a straightforward success in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes.

Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, the John and Thady Gosden-trained filly, a daughter of Frankel, pulled well clear in the final furlong, taking a while to be pulled up. Prosperous Voyage stayed on again for second after being outpaced when the taps were turned on, but she was beaten three and three-quarter lengths.

Dettori said: “It was a bit messy as the first two furlongs were slow, she had to learn today to follow a slow pace and then quicken which isn’t her style.

“She’s a work in progress and I think she’ll be better next year when she strengthens up.

At the moment she’s all frame. I think that (Fillies’ Mile) is where we should go and then she’s got all winter to strengthen up.

“Potentially she’s a Guineas horse.”

Cheveley Park’s Richard Thompson said: “Having a wonderful filly like this, these are the days we live for and dream about. She looks special. It’s fantastic to come up here and see her win the May Hill.

Later Free Wind continued her rapid progression when routing her rivals the Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes.

She could now reappear at ParisLongchamp on Arc day next month before a tilt at the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.

However Dettori feels next month’s ParisLongchamp contest could be the best option. He added: “She hasn’t stopped improving.

“Wow, what a performance today, she’s improved a lot.

“I suspect the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend will be next. She’s quite tiny but she’s got a massive heart with a big engine.”

Dettori then completed a treble by partnering Harrovian to success.