Evergreen Dettori ‘getting the knack’ of Classic success
It is 27 years since Dettori broke his Classic duck in the UK aboard Balanchine in the Oaks – the first of his five wins in the race.
Dettori, who celebrated his 50th birthday in December, has also won the Derby twice, the 2000 Guineas three times, six St Legers and now added a fourth 1000 Guineas victory to his glittering CV, following a dominant display by Mother Earth over the Rowley Mile.
I'm getting the knack of this now - it took me 30 years to realise what to do
Dettori, whose shrieks of delight continued from the track to the winner’s enclosure and into the weighing room, said: “I’m super excited.
“It’s a 20th Classic for me at 50 years old. I’m only 10 behind Lester (Piggott) – I’ve got plenty of time!
“Lester was 56 (when winning his 30th Classic), so I’ve got six years left, and Kevin (Manning, 54) won yesterday (2000 Guineas) – come on the oldies!”
“It’s great to do it at Newmarket. I’m extremely happy.
“I’m getting the knack of this now – it took me 30 years to realise what to do!”
While Mother Earth brought strong form to the table, having been placed in the Fillies’ Mile and at the Breeders’ Cup at the end of her juvenile campaign, she was the second string of two runners for Aidan O’Brien behind the much-talked-about Santa Barbara.
The latter was the 5-2 joint-favourite off the back of a solitary run amid reports of “exceptional” work on the Ballydoyle gallops – but she had to make do with an honourable fourth as Mother Earth and Dettori stole the show.
“I didn’t have the pressure to ride the favourite and I had a very willing partner in a filly that I knew was going to give me everything,” Dettori added.
“Aidan gave me a lot of confidence this morning. He told me to forget about Santa Barbara and ride your own race.
“I followed her as she was the favourite, but when I got to the top of the hill I thought ‘I can’t wait for her all my life, I have to go’. It proved the right move.
“He told me to make sure I got cover, which I did. I kicked at the top of the hill, as Aidan said she’d stay very well, and I won – it’s as simple as that!”