Racing

Caffeinated Dettori gets 68th Royal Ascot winner

Jockey Frankie Dettori said he required an espresso or two to pump himself up because of the flat atmosphere with no spectators allowed at Royal Ascot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 49-year-old Italian riding legend managed to score on the first day on Tuesday with Frankly Darling in the Ribblesdale Stakes, giving his friend John Gosden his 50th winner.

Dettori, who took his own tally to 68, said he had found it very hard to get enthused without the usual buzz of thronging crowds trying to get close to the biggest drawcard in the sport.

"Before the first race, it was very hard to pick myself up," he said after riding Frankly Darling. "I usually walk in and am signing autographs, everybody is slapping me on the back and shouting my name. It was the opposite today.

"I think I had to have two or three espressos to get me going for the first race. But now the adrenaline is pumping."

The adrenaline was clearly flowing as Dettori performed his trademark flying dismount.

"I wasn't going to do a flying dismount, but ITV (the broadcaster) asked me to do it and it's not the same without me doing a flying dismount," he said. "There's no crowd but it's still Royal Ascot." - AFP

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