Frankie Dettori is one of the most well known jockeys in the sport and at the age of 48 is still as excited about this seasons Royal Ascot as he was when he took part in his first.
The Italian rider and all round showman in the sport has a bunch of rides at this years Royal Ascot that give him a very strong chance of coming away with the jockeys championship for the five day meeting.
But there is one horse that Dettori is especially excited about riding at this year's meeting and that is Stradivarius who is looking to replicate many special horses by winning the Gold Cup in consecutive seasons.
The entertaining rider, who looks to be coming towards the back end of his career, admits he has never had it so good, still picking up rides on some top class horses and frequently having the chance to land black type contests.
At the Epsom Derby festival Dettori landed his 18th Classic victory in the Epsom Oaks on board the John Gosden trained Anapurna and he heads into the Royal meeting in some decent form.
The jockey will mainly be used by three trainers at the meeting with the obvious being John Gosden who is number one rider for, but this year he will also take rides for the legend Sir Michael Stoute and Irish trainer Dermot Weld.
Dettori this season has been taking the odd ride for trainers that never really in his career has he done before with the biggest one being Aidan O'Brien partnering the master Irish trainer in the 1000 Guineas with fairyland and recently in the Epsom Derby with Circus Maximus.
However, when the Italian is aboard Stradivarius all normality seems to be restored in the racing world and after last years heroics when winning the £1 million bonus for winning the races which comprised the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million, you can see why the jockey is looking forward to riding him again.
They kept there unbeaten run going in his seasonal debut at York, landing the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup for the second year in a row and kept the dream alive again for another bash at the £1 million bonus.
(Credit At The Races) “He is doing very well and is very fresh. He has become the people’s favourite horse,” said Dettori.
“The great thing about him is that he wears his heart on the sleeve, and he never goes down without a fight and people appreciate that.
“He is the one I’m looking forward to riding. Every year new horses are coming along, and everyone is there to have a shot at the title, so let’s see what happens.
“Bjorn Nielsen’s (owner) priority is to win a second Gold Cup. The million, we will only think about if we get to the last leg.”
Last season Stradivarius gave Dettori his sixth win in the Royal Ascot feature and he leads the market at 11/8 to do the same this year.
Dettori added: “The Queen only comes down to give the trophy out for the Gold Cup and Diamond Jubilee, so it is an honour to receive the trophy from her.”