Seven Days: Much Ado About Frankie

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Frankie Dettori delights the crowd at Newmarket | Racingfotos.com

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Such a high-profile split, whether temporary or not, between Frankie Dettori and the John and Thady Gosden stable, has naturally dominated the headlines of the last week. Whatever one's thoughts of the events during and post-Royal Ascot, there was no mistaking the affection in which Dettori is held among racegoers as he was cheered back into the winner's enclosure on his sole ride in Britain since the Saturday of the royal meeting. He has nothing booked for this week either, but intriguingly Dettori has been snapped up by Charlie Appleby to ride in the Belmont Derby and Oaks on July 9 in the Godolphin blue silks that were once synonymous with the rider.

The victory of Lezoo (GB) (Zoustar {Aus}) in Saturday's Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies' S. on Dettori's home track of Newmarket was therefore a huge shot in the arm for him after he had given a television interview assuring viewers that he was not about to retire. There was a little wobble on landing from his customary flying dismount, but he was back to his showman best as he kissed the veteran former trainer Clive Brittain on both cheeks in the winner's enclosure and then promptly departed for Istanbul and his ride in the following day's Turkish Derby.

Lezoo's win will have been well received at Tweenhills, the northern hemisphere home of her sire Zoustar, who has his first European runners this year. He has had just three winners to date but is one of only three first-season sires to have a stakes winner to his name, along with Tasleet (GB) and James Garfield (Ire), and the second half of the season is always far more telling when it comes to the quality of runners on show.

Lezoo was bred at Chasemore Farm by Andrew Black, who has previously stated his fondness for mares by the late Red Clubs (Ire) and enjoyed notable success with that stallion's daughter Ceiling Kitty (GB), who won the G2 Queen Mary S. ten years ago. She went on to produce another Newmarket Listed winner, Eartha Kitt (GB) (Pivotal {GB}), while her final foal, Arthur Kitt (GB) (Camelot {GB}), emulated his mother by becoming a juvenile Royal Ascot winner when taking the Chesham S. in 2018.

Ceiling Kitty sadly died while foaling Arthur Kitt but her daughter is continuing the line at Chasemore. Eartha Kitt is now the dam of Noble Style (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who was sold last year as a yearling for 525,000gns to Godolphin and won on debut at Ascot on May 7. It has been a good season for the Surrey-based farm so far, with homebred Brad The Brief (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) winning the G2 Greenlands S. at the Curragh last month. 

Lionhearted

There was a further fillip for the Tweenhills/Qatar Racing team when Lion Of War (GB), unbeaten in two starts, became the latest juvenile to be awarded a TDN Rising Star on Thursday, in so doing paying his own tribute to his late sire Roaring Lion. David Redvers spoke to Brian Sheerin about the issue which meant Lion Of War cost only 7,000gns at Book 3 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale last year, but his co-trainer Mark Johnston has famously put pedigree ahead of conformation in his yearling selection over the years with notable success, and he and son Charlie look to have a smart colt on their hands.

Roaring Lion has to date been represented by just five runners. The two that have won, including Swift Lioness (GB), are both inbred to Sadler's Wells.

A Summer to Savour

At this stage it is hard to know which big-race contest to look forward to the most in the coming weeks. This Saturday's Coral-Eclipse seems a good place to start, with Alenquer (Fr), Bay Bridge (GB), Native Trail (GB), Lord North (Ire), Stone Age (Ire)  and Mishriff (Ire) remaining among the confirmations at the five-day stage, while the Aga Khan's Prix du Jockey Club winner Vadeni (Fr) was supplemented at a cost of £50,000 on Monday. 

Then there's the potential rematch between Kyprios (Ire), Stradivarius (Ire) and Mojo Star (Ire) in the Goodwood Cup, which, if it comes up soft enough (but not too soft for Stradivarius) could include Saturday's epic weight-carrying hero Trueshan (Fr), who is working his way into the hearts of the racing public as all good stayers who return year after year are wont to do.

Most tantalising of all, however, must surely be the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. It is not out of the question that Ascot's high summer feature could include the Derby and Irish Derby winners of this year and last, not to mention the 2021 Arc winner.

On a memorable day for Ralph Beckett on Saturday, which started with Lezoo's stakes win at Newmarket, Westover (GB) franked the Derby form in emphatic fashion when bowling to a dominant success in the Irish Derby to add to Frankel's Classic haul for the season, which already included the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Prix de Diane.

A big, long-striding colt, the lightly-raced Westover looks to have plenty of maturing still to do, which can also be said of Desert Crown (GB), who was so impressive at Epsom despite still looking like a gangly teenager. 

We've so far been denied a sighting of Adayar (Ire) this year but it would be fantastic to see him attempt to defend his King George crown, while Hurricane Lane (Ire) will surely come on from his comeback third in the G2 Hardwicke S.

We also shouldn't overlook the claims of Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who has drawn favourable comparisons with another Gosden star by the same sire, Taghrooda (GB), who landed the King George after winning the Oaks in 2014. At this stage, Britain's premier 1m4f weight-for-age contest really does look the race not to miss this summer.

No Slacking

It has been a good couple of weeks in Europe for South African owner/breeder Mary Slack, whose UK arm of her famous Wilgerbosdrift Stud bred Saturday's G3 International S. winner Aikhal (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Slack owns the Aidan O'Brien-trained 3-year-old colt, who remains among the acceptors for this Saturday's Eclipse S., in partnership with Coolmore and Westerberg. She raced his dam Diamond Fields (Ire), a half-sister to Irish Derby winner Latrobe (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) and Oaks runner-up Pink Dogwood (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), whom she bought through Form Bloodstock as a yearling. The daughter of Fastnet Rock (Aus) won the G3 Gladness S. and was runner-up in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot, where Slack enjoyed success this year with the G3 Hampton Court S. winner Claymore (Fr) (New Bay {GB}).

The latter is trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam, the resident trainer in Newmarket's historic Abington Place, which is also owned by Slack.

Twomey in Form: I Should Coco!

There was a time when Paddy Twomey was more regularly seen on the sales grounds as a consignor and pinhooker, but over the last ten years his training business has gradually taken hold to the point where he currently boasts the finest strike-rate in Ireland, where he is in seventh place in the table for this season with significantly less ammunition than those above him.

Some of the shine was taken off his first Group 1 victory with La Petite Coco (Ire) (Ruler Of The World {Ire}) when his third-place finisher Rosscarbery (Ger) (Sea The Star {Ire}) was disqualified after Wayne Lordan weighed in 5lbs light, having reportedly been asked to remove 5lbs of lead from his weight cloth by the clerk of the scales when weighing out. An appeal will doubtless ensue, but when the frustration subsides, Twomey can take great pride in the progression of Team Valor's La Petite Coco, who has won her last four starts, stepping up from a median auction race success at Killarney last July to win at Group 3 and Group 2 level before returning from a 287-day absence to land the G1 Pretty Polly S.

She thus became the second winner of that race for her now-Italian-based Derby-winning sire after Iridessa (Ire), and was another feather in the cap for the small Co Offaly town of Rhode, where she was bred by Bernd and Ute Schone.

Twomey had already reached a Group 1 landmark in another field, as he was the breeder of Serious Attitude (Ire) (Mtoto {GB}), winner of the G1 Cheveley Park S. and GI Nearctic S. for Rae Guest. Since being sold to Shadai Farm, she is now the dam of Grade II winner and GI Tenno Sho runner-up Stiffelio (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}).

In what is well on its way to becoming his best season, Twomey, with a strike-rate of 35%, also saddled Sunday's Irish Derby third French Claim (Fr) (French Fifteen {Fr}).

Going Rogue

Rogue Millennium (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) provided an enormous thrill for 80 members, friends and family of the The Rogues Gallery syndicate who turned up at Epsom to watch her run seventh in the Oaks after winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial. The smartly-bred filly added more black type to her record when second in the G3 Hoppings Fillies' S on Friday evening.

Earlier that day, her trainer Tom Clover unleashed the second smart 2-year-old to race this season for the Tony Elliott-run syndicate when Rogue Lightning (Ire) ((Kodiac {GB}) bolted home at Newmarket for an easy debut success. 

That followed the second victory of Rogue Spirit (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who got off the mark at Beverley in May and then beat subsequent G2 Norfolk S. winner The Ridler (GB) (Brazen Beau {Aus}) when second in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at the same course before winning easily at Wolverhampton on June 20.

All three horses mentioned were purchased relatively inexpensively by Clover with bloodstock agent Billy Jackson-Stops, who married Lily Gredley at the weekend. 

Rogue Spirit was an 11,000gns purchase at the Tattersalls December Sale, at which Rogue Millennium was also recruited for 35,000gns, while Rogue Lightning was picked up for 42,000gns at the Craven Breeze-up Sale. All three look set to provide plenty more fun outings for the jolly band of rogues.

A Knight To Remember

The quiet achiever of the week award must go to the Irish National Stud resident Decorated Knight (GB), who was represented by a pair of smart novice winners over the weekend. Ferrari Queen (Ire) zoomed to success on her debut for Charlie and Mark Johnston, winning by six lengths at Doncaster, to become her sire's first winner from his second crop. A half-sister to two Group 2-winning stayers in Pale Mimosa (Ire) (Singspiel {Ire}) and Nearly Caught (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}), she looks well bought by her trainers at €18,000 at last year's Orby Sale.

The following day Prince A A Faisal's 3-year-old Kind Gesture (GB) won her second race on the bounce, this time by ten lengths at Windsor for Roger Varian and David Egan, who had also ridden Ferrari Queen.

Kind Gesture was bred, like her sire, by Imad Al Sagar's Blue Diamond Stud, which celebrated its first homebred Classic winner the previous weekend with Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the Prix de Diane. The stud will be offering Nashwa's half-sister by Decorated Knight as lot 93 in the forthcoming Arqana August Yearling Sale. It is the first time that Blue Diamond Stud will appear on the list of consignors in Deauville and its draft of three also includes an Invincible Spirit (Ire) half-brother to Kind Gesture (lot 252). Gerry Meehan took the helm as yearling manager at Blue Diamond Stud earlier this year and anyone who perused the Newsells Park Stud yearling drafts during Meehan's lengthy stint there will know to expect a well prepared consignment. 

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