Frankie Dettori finally won the Vodafone Derby at the 15th attempt when his mount Authorized turned Britains premier Classic into a procession. The Peter Chapple-Hyam trained favourite won by five lengths from Eagle Mountain but essentially it was a one-horse race from two furlongs out.
The pressure has been mounting all week on Dettori but it did not show as he rode a perfectly judged pace despite being a little slow out of the stalls. Predictions of a rough race proved unfounded for Dettori at any rate as he sat as far back as 10th but in an outside birth off a breakneck pace. He made steady progress towards the front up the straight and as he cruised to join the leaders the result never looked in doubt.
My heart stopped about 100 yards from the winning post, said Dettori afterwards. I couldnt believe it was happening. It all came together today. This is one of the greatest days of my life and nothing makes me more proud of the fact that my fathers here, he taught me so much.
After Henry Cecil’s win yesterday the comeback theme was evident again, this time with the winner’s trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, who quit British racing for four years to train in Hong Kong. He trained Dr Devious to win the race in 1992 but when he returned from the far east four years ago he had to start again with just four horses.
I wasnt too worried once he had hit the front, he said. If anything had caught him it would have been a wonder horse and Id taken my hat off to him. Hes the perfect horse and he was given the perfect ride.
Authorized, by Montjeu, was bought as a yearling for 95,000 gns at Tattersalls November Sales by bloodstock agent Tony Nerses on behalf of his Kuwait-based owners, Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar.
1. Authorized (Frankie Dettori)
2. Eagle Mountain (Johnny Murtagh)
3. Aqaleem (Richard Hills)