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Frankie goes to Hollywood – Inspiral produces a dazzling performance to land Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

3 minute read

California’s newest resident sporting star needs no introduction, but the riding performance Dettori produced when partnering Inspiral to success in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, certainly announced his Stateside arrival on the biggest stage.

INSPIRAL after winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
INSPIRAL after winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images

The John and Thady Gosden-trained multiple top-level winner has been an absolute star for Dettori in recent years and once again, the pair struck at the highest level when running down Warm Heart in the closing stages.

Frankie Dettori settled the four-year-old mare into a brilliant rhythm from a potentially tricky draw and when angled out rounding the Santa Anita bend, the daughter of Frankel produced a sparkling turn of foot towards the centre of the track, picking up Warm Heart to score by a neck under hands and heels riding.

It was Inspiral's first attempt at the ten-furlong trip, but she finished with a flourish to reward favourite backers, returning the 9/4 market leader.

Dettori, who recently revised his decision to retire from the saddle in order to be based in California, suggested he would be keen to ride the Gosden-trained filly next season, meaning a return to race riding in Europe.

He said: "She's always slow out of the gate, but she jumped good and was squeezed out on the fence. I really wanted to be where William [Buick, on With The Moonlight] was, but he got there before me.

"She needs a quarter of a mile to find top gear, and I expected her to find it. Once she did, she was flying. The Filly & Mare was always the plan because we felt the Mile would be too sharp for her."

He added: "The support from people has been phenomenal, but I can't do it without the horses, and she [Inspiral] has been a star. She's beaten the boys and first time in the States she has shown what she can do.

"I will be disappointed if I'm not on her [next year], but it will depend on the owners. But it is a job done for England and the Cheveley Park team, John Gosden and Thady."

"Coming here this week I felt she was my best ride. It's great that the banker went in. I love the Breeders' Cup, it's been my making. This feels really sweet."

A thrilled John Gosden said: "She had a hiccup in the spring and ran in a bog at Goodwood. She was pointing towards the QEII [on Champions Day], but we didn't even declare her. Frankie did the right thing to get her out. I knew she would get the trip well; she would have been an unlucky loser.

"I thought Ryan Moore rode a super race on Warm Heart. Our filly needed all her class the get there. She's got a superb will, and it's a wonderful achievement for Cheveley Park. Next year options are open. Whether Lockinge and Queen Anne or look at the Juddmonte and the Nassau. I could see the Juddmonte International being a key race for her."

When it comes to maintaining the partnership, Gosden added: "If she's in great order next year we will seriously look at bringing her back to Del Mar and Frankie will be free to ride her."

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