- Quote: ‘The 20th British Classic for me, 50 years old. I’m only 10 behind Lester Piggott. Come on the oldies’ – Frankie Dettori
By Andrew Atkinson
Frankie Dettori rode Mother Earth – second-string behind Aiden O’Brien’s Santa Barbara – to a length victory ahead of Saffron Beach and Fev Rover, in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2.
“Come on, me! I’m super-excited to win that,” said Dettori, who has ridden more than 250 Group 1 winners.
“I didn’t have the pressure of riding the favourite and I had a very willing partner with a filly that I knew was going to give me everything,” he said.
“Mother Earth is a very good filly, always was. It was unfair to Santa Barbara (fourth) to come, but we had to come, with a view to coming back to the Oaks. She had to run – she’s only a baby,” reasoned O’Brien.
“Ryan (Moore) said that intentionally he’d like to have waited longer, but he saw Frankie coming down his outside and he had to go then. She was just green in the dip but after having one easy run it was a great run.
“We felt that coming here, she was going to learn as much as she would for three runs, but it was a risk doing it, that she was going to get beaten,” said O’Brien.
Ballydoyle maestro O’Brien said High Definition, favourite for next month’s Derby at Epsom, will make his seasonal debut in the Derby Trial at Lingfield next weekend, while Santa Barbara, is favourite for the Oaks on June 4.
Santa Barbara is 7-2 for the Oaks Classic at Epsom: “She’ll be fine and she has plenty of time now to get over it,” said O’Brien.
Dettori added: “Aidan gave me a lot of confidence. He said: ‘Forget about Santa Barbara, just ride your own race.’ I forgot about Santa Barbara, kicked at the top of the hill, I knew she’d stay really well and she did and I won, it’s as simple as that.
“The 20th British Classic for me, 50 years old. I’m only 10 behind Lester. I’ve got plenty of time. Lester was 56, so I’ve got six years yet.
“And Johnny V Velasquez, who won Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is 49. Come on the oldies,” said Dettori, whose career spans three decades.