Masterful Qipco 1000 Guineas by Frankie Dettori shows that age no barrier

FRANKIE Dettori proved that age is only a number after landing the Qipco 1000 Guineas on Mother Earth.

Frankie Dettori celebrates the Qipco 1000 Guineas win of Mother Earth.

The 50-year-old gave a masterful ride on Aidan O’Brien’s second string to record his 20th domestic Classic.

It was a weekend for the weighing room veterans after Kevin Manning, 54, won the previous day’s 2000 Guineas for colts on Poetic Flare for his father-in-law Jim Bolger.

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“Come on the oldies. We can still do it,” declared Dettori as he whooped with delight on the way back to the winners’ enclosure.

Frankie Dettori celebrates the Qipco 1000 Guineas win of Mother Earth.

Mother Earth could head to Epsom for next month’s Oaks after finishing ahead of Saffrom Beach and the Yorkshire challenger Fev Rover.

Named in honour of Featherstone Rovers, the filly ran a mighty race for Malton trainer Richard Fahey and jockey Paul Hanagan in the colours of Nick Bradley Racing.

Fev Rover just got the better of Mother Earth’s stablemate Santa Barbara in the race for third, with the latter likely to be Oaks-bound.

Earlier, Zabeel Champion completed a quickfire hat-trick with the narrowest of victories for Middleham trainer Mark Johnston and champion jockey contender Ben Curtis.

“I suppose we’ll look at a handicap at Royal Ascot, depending on what the handicapper does. He is in the Hardwicke Stakes as well,” said Johnston.

This win came 24 hours after the Johnston stable’s Sir Ron Priestley opened up a number of exciting options in making every yard of the running to land the Jockey Club Stakes.

Second in the 2019 St Leger to Logician, Johnston’s five-year-old was forced to miss the whole of 2020 through injury.

He returned to action at Nottingham recently with a good win at Listed level and bounded into an early lead that he never lost.

With Johnston already aiming Nayef Road and Subjectivist at the Ascot Gold Cup, the Yorkshire Cup at York’s Dante meeting will be considered.

Assistant trainer Charlie Johnston said: “The Yorkshire Cup and the Hardwicke will be the next two places, I’d have thought.

“He had a suspensory ligament issue last year and we were trying to get him back for the Long Distance Cup at Ascot at the backend.

“Then he fractured pelvis around September time. They were two unrelated injuries, but combined, it kept him off the track for over 18 months.

“The next 24 hours are always nerve-racking with a horse with a history like that, so fingers crossed.”

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