Royal Ascot: Frankie Dettori matches Lester Piggott’s four-timer

Frankie Dettori enjoyed an impressive 449/1 four-timer at Royal Ascot yesterday (Thursday, 20 June), a feat not achieved since 1965 by the legendary Lester Piggott.

The popular Italian-born jockey won aboard A’Ali, Sangarius and Star Catcher before taking the day’s feature race, the Group One Gold Cup, on Stradivarius.

Frankie said: “Stradivarius has become the people’s favourite — his style of racing and the way he conducts himself is marvellous; he has a tremendous will to win.

“My ‘Magnificent Seven’ [winning all seven on the card at Ascot in 1996] was special, but it was such a long time ago I forget about it! Yesterday was so special and I could feel everything. After the ‘Magnificent Seven’, this is my second biggest day — I cannot put it into words.”

Two of Lester’s winners came in the same races as Dettori — the New Stakes with Tin King and the Gold Cup on Fighting Charlie. He also won the Chesham Stakes on Swift Harmony and the King George V Handicap on Brave Knight.

Lester won that year’s top jockey award having ridden eight winners in total. Frankie could repeat Lester’s feat because he is currently leading this year’s jockeys’ table.

Frankie has been leading jockey at Royal Ascot five times, but has not captured the title since 2004. The most winners ridden at the Royal meeting is a record that was created in 1878 by the 13-time champion jockey Fred Archer — he won 12 races from 24 rides.

Don’t miss our full report from Royal Ascot in 27 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.