Frankie Dettori's greatest Epsom rides in the Derby and Oaks - Enable, Snowfall, Authorized

There is no better jockey for the big days at Epsom than the Italian with nerves of steel, Frankie Dettori. Planet Sport's Jonathan Doidge picks five of Frankie's ups on the Downs.

Despite taking some years to ride his first Derby winner, Frankie Dettori had first proved his ability to master the rollercoaster Epsom course on several occasions in the Oaks.

Dettori has now conquered the Epsom Flat Classics six times, with four Oaks wins and two at the Derby. At the 2022 Derby Festival races this June, the 51-year-old is down to ride favourite Emily Upjohn in the Oaks and Piz Badile in the Derby.

Planet Sport picks out the best of Frankie Dettori's Epsom rides so far.

Snowfall (2021 Oaks)

This was simply sensational. Snowfall, second string in Aidan O'Brien's plans for the race (he also had the favourite Santa Barbara) but first by a record margin in the Oaks itself.

Ridden patiently by Frankie for well over a mile of the race, he was content to sit in midfield on the rain-softened ground aboard the daughter of Deep Impact. And what an aptly-named sire he was!

After the leaders moved across towards the stands rail, Dettori had to get tough on the filly so they could hold their position, coming together with at least one opponent. However, once he let out some rein the impact was immediate.

Kicking on, they hit the front inside the two furlong marker and destroyed the field, coming home a record-breaking 16-lengths clear.

Authorized (2007 Derby)

At last, Frankie got his name on the Derby roll of honour with this beautifully judged ride, where ultimately his mount didn't even know he'd had a race.

Sent off as the hot favourite for the Blue Riband event, the son of Montjeu was switched off towards the rear of the field by the great man. A big field of 17 ran that day and there was plenty of pace on up front.

That pace was so searching that Frankie did not want to be anywhere near it, knowing they come back to him. He was spot on!

Easing Authorized through the field, he never had a moment's worry as he cruised upsides the leaders with two furlongs to run. When he pressed the button, the impact was immediate and lasting.

The Peter Chapple-Hyam inmate simply surged clear to win, as he liked, by five lengths. After all those previous efforts, when his first Derby win finally came, it was like shelling peas.

Balanchine (1994 Oaks)

Frankie's first Classic winner showed just how well he rides Epsom and was a portent for things to come.

The daughter of Storm Bird had been 20/1 for the 1,000 Guineas a month earlier and under another great Dettori ride, she had been just touched off by a short head into second place.

With that run in mind, the bookies had trimmed her to 6/1 for the Oaks and that wariness proved to be well founded.

Travelling like a dream in the wet conditions, she took herself to the front well over five furlongs out, before the race began in earnest.

Headed as they began to set sail for home off Tattenham Corner, Frankie refused to panic, got Balanchine on an even keel, and then ground them down. Once in front, she dominated, going on to win by two and a half lengths from Wind In Her Hair. Dettori had done it!

Golden Horn (2015 Derby)

Having been beaten by Golden Horn in the Dante, in which he was on stablemate and favourite Jack Hobbs, Dettori made the switch to the son of Cape Cross for the big day at Epsom Downs.

By now, the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned colt was 13/8 favourite and Buick had had to make the switch to the 4/1 second favourite Jack Hobbs. Bookies and punters alike were making it a two-horse race. As it turned out, it was all about Golden Horn.

Having raced freely to begin with, Dettori exercised restraint on the colt, allowing him a good sight of what was ahead, before his jockey pulled him out and asked him to get to work with three furlongs to travel.

The impact was gradual but sustained until he hit the front at the furlong pole and went well clear to win decisively, by an official margin of three and a half lengths from his stablemate Jack Hobbs.

He'd beaten another top class performer by further than his York success and Dettori had once again managed the occasion better than anyone else, a factor that so often is unrecognised or underplayed.

There might be exuberant celebrations after a win but the calm displayed by the pilot here was peerless and he went on to describe Golden Horn as probably the best he had ridden.

Enable (2017 Oaks)

Enable ridden by Frankie Dettori

Frankie's partnership with this brilliant filly will be the stuff of racing legend for generations to come.

Consistently brilliant, she was darling of the racecourse and his ride on her in the Oaks was majestic.

Although she'd been turned over in her seasonal reappearance as a three-year-old, she arrived at Epsom on the back of a Cheshire Oaks win that pointed towards greater things.

Rhododendron, who had won the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at two and finished runner-up to Winter in the 1,000 Guineas, was a hot favourite to win the Blue Riband event.

Frankie Dettori rode Enable from off the pace until she went past the pacesetters with Rhododendron upsides, well over 2f out. They settled down to fight it out but the 'fight' was very one-sided.

The further they went the better Enable was, lengthening impressively to take the measure of the 'jolly' by the furlong pole, before stretching clear in hugely impressive fashion to win by five lengths.

It was a magnificent performance and together with Frankie, the fabulous filly went on to win the Irish Oaks, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, the Yorkshire Oaks and Europe's biggest prize, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe by the end of that wonderful season.

Read more: The five best Epsom Derby winners of the 21st century including Workforce, Galileo...

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