Frankie Focus: Dettori's winning chances on day one of Royal Ascot

The mention of Frankie Dettori and Ascot is enough to have the bookies quivering with memories of the Italian jockey’s Magnificent Seven at the Berkshire track in 1996 at odds of 25,051/1.

Frankie's super seven came in September, not at the June Royal meeting, but Dettori hasn't fared badly in front of The Queen with a massive 73 wins at Royal Ascot.

Indeed, Dettori is favourite for the top jockey crown at Royal Ascot 2021, having claimed the title for the past two years.

The 50-year-old Dettori has ridden sparingly this season with only 59 rides but will be throwing everything at Royal Ascot and has six runners on day one, all with a chance of success.

Planet Sport assesses Dettori's rides on the opening day of Royal Ascot 2021.

2.30 Queen Anne Stakes - Palace Pier

Plenty of experts view the Queen Anne Stakes being a promenade for top miler Palace Pier in the hands of Dettori.

The combination of trainers John and Thady Gosden, with Frankie Dettori onboard, is a force to be reckoned with for Palace Pier, the winner of the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last time out.

Dettori is a Queen Anne Stakes expert, having claimed his first Ascot winner with Markofdistinction in the race in 1990. Dettori has won the Queen Anne six times and broke the race record time with Ramonti in 2007, so there are few better jockeys for the job of steering Palace Pier.

The draw shouldn't be a problem and although most of the horse's success has come on good ground or softer, the surface is typically immaculate at Ascot so everything is pointing to an imposing run from the peerless Palace Pier.

Star rating: 5 stars

3.05 Coventry Stakes - Tolstoy

Maybe it was Tolstoy's maiden victory at Yarmouth which has seen Dettori's second ride of the day drift in the betting for the six furlong Coventry Stakes.

However, connections of the Kingman colt are solid. The horse is bred and owned by top racing enthusiast Sir Robert Ogden and trained by the skilful John and Thady Gosden.

The Gosdens and Dettori teamed up to win the 2018 Coventry Stakes with Calyx and will be quietly confident of Tolstoy, who had been going well at home, running better than his odds suggest.

It could be war not peace from Dettori to the bookmakers if the horse named after the famous Russian writer comes in and Tolstoy looks a decent each-way opportunity.

Star rating: 3 stars

3.40 King's Stand Stakes - Extravagant Kid

UAE Derby winning trainer Brendan P Walsh sends over his American raider Extravagant Kid with a great chance of taking this popular Royal Ascot Sprint.

A staying on fourth from an unkind draw in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, Extravagant Kid has since won a six furlong Group One dash at Meydan.

Much will depend on Extravagant Kid starting quick and navigating a low draw. However, there are few better men for the job than Dettori who took the race in fine style in 1994 with the Ian Balding trained Lochsong.

An each-way bet on Extravagant Kid wouldn't be pushing the boat out too much with various bookmakers paying out four places.

Star racing: 4 stars

4.20 St James's Palace Stakes - Thunder Moon

The inconsistent Thunder Moon could serve up anything today after a reasonable third in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and then a dead last in the 2000 Guineas.

Trained by Joseph Patrick O'Brien, the son of Ballydoyle legend AP O'Brien, there could well be an improved performance in store under Dettori. The betting odds have gone up and down like a Coney Island roller-coaster in the build-up.

Probably Dettori's weakest ride of the day on paper, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Dettori will get the potentially pacy Thunder Moon in position for a place finish.

Star rating: 2 stars

5.00 Ascot Stakes - Golden Rules

The gleaming credentials of Golden Rules are obvious, being sired by Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winning Golden Horn.

Owned by diamond dealer Anthony Oppenheimer, who also had Golden Horn, Golden Rules could well prove to be a shining success at the marathon two mile four furlong Ascot Stakes distance.

The horse is trained by John and Thady Gosden, whose Stradivarius is considered a dead-cert in the gruelling Ascot Gold Cup so it would be no surprise to see the father and son team ready another long distance contender.

But he has not run beyond one mile and six furlongs so punters will be taking a leap in the dark with Golden Rules.

Just don't rule out Dettori emerging into the light and a place.

Star rating: 3 stars

5.35 Wolferton Stakes - Forest Of Dean

One of the few Godolphin runners publicly trained by John and Thady Gosden, Forest of Dean represents the coming together of two heavyweights of global racing.

It will be a tough ask for Dettori to finish day one of Royal Ascot on a high with Forest Of Dean who has mainly campaigned over the all-weather this winter.

Others are better treated in the weights but Forest Of Dean did win a nice race over the one mile two furlong distance under Dettori at York in 2019. That was on good to firm ground too so this Ascot contest shouldn't be alien.

Dettori loves grabbing a headline so don't rule out the Italian's name being front and centre for the last of his six rides.

A speculative win bet at odds of 5/1 or more may pay dividends for Frankie fans.

Star rating: 4 stars

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