Dettori only human at Ascot after all

July 21st, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

I was very pleased that Burnt Sugar won the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket last week, not merely because it meant a profitable weekend but also because it ended an irritating run of near misses.

His SP of 7/1 was disappointing – naïve fool that I am, I was expecting 20/1 or better – but he is better at seven furlongs than a mile and rather a lot of people had been waiting for him.

In the end I started going off Century Dream in the Group 2 mile race at Ascot. He has a lot of form on ground much softer than last week’s and, of course, it was the Round Mile as opposed to the straight one, where he ran such a good fourth in the Queen Anne. He was easy to back at 4/1 but I still think he’d have had a fair chance under a better ride. Frankie Dettori is peerless at Ascot but this was a shocker as he set off after the leader, who was clearly going way too fast, and seemed intent upon heading him as they rounded the home turn.

This he managed all right but, needless to say, there was nothing left in the tank when his closely matched rivals made their efforts. Sometimes I’d love to be privy to trainer/jockey conversations but I can’t believe Simon Crisford was expecting anything like this. Century Dream is much improved and can win a Group 2 but this was a chance that went astray.

I’m not sure I’d be looking to Blue Point to atone for his poor effort in the July Cup. He was fighting William Buick for his head as soon as the stalls opened and it wouldn’t have mattered whether the trip was six furlongs or five because it simply wasn’t his day and the situation was accepted at half-way. Blue Point is talented but his record is patchy and he proved a very expensive favourite here. Although impressive in the King’s Stand, he settled that day and the pace Jim Crowley went on Battaash meant that Buick had a clear target to aim at. Blue Point is a very good sprinter on his day but not an absolutely top-class one and he may well let people down again.

The opening two-year-old race at Newbury on Friday may prove to be one of the best juvenile contests so far. Beat Le Bon is one of Richard Hannon’s best juveniles and went mighty close but just went under to the more experienced Momkin, who looked a very decent sort when third on his debut at Salisbury. The pair easily accounted for John Gosden’s newcomer Sheriffmuir and the 3/1 or better about Momkin was only available because many people will back a Gosden/Dettori youngster more or less blindly – at 13/8 in this case.

Roger Charlton does not have many two-year-olds in action this early. The stable is in good form and, following Dylan Mouth’s victory last week, Secret Step looks a very fair wager in the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood. The master of Beckhampton will also probably acknowledge that Projection has the perfect opportunity in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on Saturday because Group 3 is about the horse’s mark. I wouldn’t accept much less than 3/1, the two problems being the fact that many experts will latch on to Projection from early in the day, citing his fifth in the Diamond Jubilee, while Equilateral would be a danger if returning to his best. 3/1 about Projection would be a bet, though.