Frankie’s Dubai World Cup milestone
Frankie Dettori left the best for last to win the 26th Dubai World Cup on Bob Baffert’s Country Grammer at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.
The Italian reached another milestone in a remarkable career by joining American legend Jerry Bailey as the most successful jockey with four Dubai World Cup winners.
Dettori sent Country Grammer through with a well-timed run to win from Hot Rod Charlie by a length and-a-quarter with Japan’s Chuwa Wizard a further half-a-length behind in third.
The 51-year-old Dettori won the Group 1 race, contested over 2,000 metres on dirt surface, for the first time since he rode Godolphin’s Electrocutionist to the podium in 2006.
His two wins before that came on Dubai Millennium in 2000 and Moon Ballad in 2003. The Italian now holds the record for most wins in the race for a jockey alongside Jerry Bailey.
Baffert has won the race three times before – with Silver Charm 1998, Captain Steve in 2001 and Arrogate in 2017.
The trainer is under fire from authorities in the US after Medina Spirit tested positive for prohibited substances during his Kentucky Derby win last year.
Country Grammer was greeted by rapturous celebrations from US-Saudi owner Amr Zeddan, who has been linked recently with a bid for Chelsea Football Club.
Dettori told: “Once I got a smell of Country Grammer being free, I disturbed Mr Zeddan in his polo game. He told me to ring Bob, who made me swear I was free to ride.
“I’ve known Bob for over 30 years from my time in California and I’ve galloped horses for him in the past, but I really believe it’s my first [race] ride for him.” – Extracts from Racing Post; Khaleej Times.