Age is just a number as Frankie Dettori revels in 1000 Guineas glory

“Lester was 56 (when winning his 30th Classic), so I’ve got six years left, and Kevin (Manning, 54) won yesterday (2000 Guineas) - come on the oldies!”

On Sunday it was Frankie Dettori's turn to show he is as good as ever when taking his Classic tally to 20 with victory on Aidan O'Brien's second string Mother Earth in the 1000 Guineas.

There was no hiding the ever-popular Italian's delight as he steered the 10-1 winner home from Saffron Beach and Fev Rover, with the Ballydoyle stable's number one hope, Santa Barbara, fourth.

Dettori, whose shrieks of delight continued from the track to the winner's enclosure and into the weighing room, said: "I'm super excited.

"It's a 20th Classic for me at 50 years old. I'm only 10 behind Lester (Piggott) - I've got plenty of time!

"Lester was 56 (when winning his 30th Classic), so I've got six years left, and Kevin (Manning, 54) won yesterday (2000 Guineas) - come on the oldies!"

Evergreen Frankie Dettori ‘getting the knack’ of Classic success after taking his Classic tally to 20 with Mother Earth
Evergreen Frankie Dettori ‘getting the knack’ of Classic success after taking his Classic tally to 20 with Mother Earth

"It's great to do it at Newmarket. I'm extremely happy."

Lady Bowthorpe edged out Queen Power and Lavender's Blue in a thrilling three-way finish to the Group Two Betfair Dahlia Stakes for local trainer William Jarvis.

Jarvis said: "She's in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot. I didn't put her in the Queen Anne, because if we can keep her to her own sex it's to her favour."

Manning manages miraculous win

Kevin Manning rolled back the years at Newmarket yesterday as he came out on top with Poetic Flare in the first Classic of the 2021 season.

Poetic Flare was a brave winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas for the enduring partnership of two veterans - in trainer Jim Bolger (79) and jockey Manning (54).

Manning secured his fourth British Classic win and in doing so became the oldest jockey to win the Rowley Mile showpiece since Lester Piggot in 1992, aged 56.

The veteran jockey first tasted success with Finsceal Beo in 2007 at the 1,000 Guineas while also guiding New Approach in the 2008 Derby and Dawn Approach at the 2,000 Guineas in 2013.

Poetic Flare, like the three other horses, is trained by Manning's father-in-law and long-time employer Jim Bolger, 79.

The Coolcullen handler and his son-in-law have been around more than 130 years between them, and have joined forces for almost the last 40.

Poetic Flare, son of their Guineas and Royal Ascot winner Dawn Approach, did his connections and pedigree proud as he became a Classic hero in his own right.

Racing unlike Godolphin's Dawn Approach in the colours of Bolger's wife Jackie, Poetic Flare just edged out the all blue of Master Of The Seas by a short head as the latter's trainer Charlie Appleby had to settle for minor honours in a race he has yet to win.

In the tightest of finishes, 16-1 shot Poetic Flare had his head down at the telling moment on the line - with Lucky Vega just a neck further back in third for Jessica Harrington.

Classic success still a sweet feeling for veteran Kevin Manning who won for a fourth time
Classic success still a sweet feeling for veteran Kevin Manning who won for a fourth time

Manning reported the race had not gone as he had anticipated, initially.

"He's usually a very switched-off horse who takes everything in his stride, but he left the gates very quick and on the wrong note - and it just took a furlong and a half or two furlongs to reorganise and get into a rhythm.

"He's very smart and has done it very well. He travelled well and picked up well.

"It's great to get to the other side of it (line, in front)."

Bolger was watching back at home in County Carlow, and added: "I thought he was beaten! It's a big day for us, right up there with the best we've had."

Poetic Flare may next seek to follow in his father's footsteps again, at Royal Ascot.

"I'm not too concerned about him getting further in time," said Bolger.

"Kevin did say in the interview on TV that he thought he'd stay 10 furlongs, but at the moment I'm not thinking about going anywhere except the mile.

"He has buckets of speed, and I even entered him in the Commonwealth Cup in the unlikely event that he didn't stay, because he's that quick and you always have some doubts about whether the very quick ones will stay or not. The St James's Palace would definitely be on the cards."

Mark Johnston's Sir Ron Priestley has a choice of Ascot targets on his agenda after his convincing victory ahead of fellow joint-favourite Pyledriver in the Group Two Betfair Exchange Jockey Club Stakes - putting both the Gold Cup and Hardwicke Stakes, over a mile shorter, in the equation.

Appleby's Lazuli was also a notable winner at Newmarket, conceding 3lb all round and holding off the late challenge of Came From The Dark, to win the Group Three Betfair Palace House Stakes.

In Ireland, the fifth and final day of the Punchestown Festival closed the Irish National Hunt season - and champion trainer Willie Mullins finished the meeting with a remarkable record tally of 19 winners since Tuesday.

The resurgent Stormy Ireland capped Mullins' week with a seven-length success in the Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle - one of three Closutton winners on the card - while Noel Meade's much-improved Jeff Kidder took Grade One honours too in the Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.

Read: Kentucky Derby - Medina Spirit earns Bob Baffert a record-breaking win

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