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Press Release 2nd June 2023 Epsom Downs

Friday 2nd June

Frankie Dettori rode his sixth DahlBury Coronation Cup winner when partnering Emily Upjohn (11-4) to success today on Ladies Day at Epsom Downs.

Dettori’s previous wins the mile and a half Group One contest came courtesy of Swain (1996), Singspiel (1997), Daylami (1999), Mutafaweq (2001) and Cracksman (2018).

Settled at the rear of the five-strong field the four year old Sea The Stars filly, who was a close second in the Oaks a year ago, made significant progress to take the lead entering the final quarter mile and stayed on strongly to score by a length and three quarters from Westover (5-2 Favourite).

Dettori told ITV Racing: “That was great. They went a good gallop and she settled really good, which she didn’t do in the King George last year.

“She got into a good rhythm and she stays well, She’s a big girl so I had to get her prepared from a long way out. When she got to the two-furlong marker, she took off.

“I was thinking please don’t slip at the start today! The owners, the Lloyd-Webbers and Jon Shack, are here today and they have been great supporters. She got what she deserved this year – things didn’t go right in the Oaks last year but she is a top-class filly.”

Dettori continued: “I thought it was a great performance. She does feel better (than last year) and she does feel stronger in her mind. She was fighting herself too much last year and she is learning to relax a bit more and when she does that she is very good. She does that in the morning (pauses like she did on the walkway). We let her be and don’t interfere with her. If she wants to stop and have a look then we let her have a look.

“Last year in the King George everything went wrong. She was too keen and she stopped breathing and we went on a recovery mission and she won the Fillies and Mares at Ascot. The key with her is to get her to relax and after I got her relaxed in the first part of the race I was very confident she would run a big race. Even to my standards I was impressed with the turn of foot that she showed. For a big girl like that to quicken like that was impressive. She is a proper horse now.

“She just exploded and took me by surprise. She doesn’t do that at home. Once I pressed the button we had to keep going. The distance is no problem and she got to the line good.

“She has now won two Group Ones back to back and we know what to do with her. I suspect either the Eclipse or the King George again would be on the agenda.

“In the morning she is quite lazy. I know her last couple of pieces of work were quite decent but when you are running over a mile and a half against race fit horses it is a concern. She did more than expected her to do there.

“I expected a progressive crescendo but when I pushed the button she went from last to first and drew well clear in the space of a furlong.

“She can do both (trip-wise, the Eclipse or King George) but I will leave that up to John but as a four year old filly those are the races you have got to go for.”

John Gosden, joint-trainer of Emily Upjohn alongside his son Thady, said: “She did it beautifully. We had planned Dubai, but she didn’t come to herself in the spring and we waited and waited, and she’s only just come ready to run actually - only just now. She probably hit the front a little soon and is having a really good blow, but we hope she will come on for that.

“She’s a hugely talented filly. The Oaks went wrong last year and that’s history, but she showed that early last year. She did it again in the autumn on soft ground, and this is quickening up all the time. It’s genuine good to firm, and will be good to firm, firm tomorrow. She’s shown a lot of talent over a mile and a half.

“It’s lovely to come back [to Epsom], and Westover [second] had a rough trip [in the Derby] last year, but take nothing away from either winner of the Oaks or the Derby last year - they were very, very good.

“It’s the Hardwicke or the Eclipse [next], one or the other. She could come back to 10 furlongs at Sandown, and I slightly favour the Eclipse at this stage.”

Gosden previously saddled the 2018 Coronation Cup winner Cracksman.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who owns the winner alongside Jon Shack and Stuart Roden, said: “That was fantastic and we were very thrilled with it being her first time out this season. It was very good news. No, he (John Gosden) didn’t fill us full of optimism. He was saying as it was her first time out that she really needed the run but John is brilliant is keeping the expectations down. That was fantastic (the move Frankie made to win the race).

“The main thing John was saying was to keep her breathing properly. My tip was I will get her a voice coach before she goes out so she can learn to breath from the diaphragm so clearly this message was passed on by Frankie to Emily and she got her act together!

“I think the main reason that Simon (Marsh, Watership Down Stud general manager) and Madeleine (Lloyd-Webber, wife and joint owner of Watership Down Stud) wanted to have her was they wanted to get a new line of blood into the stud and clearly she is right up there (with the best we have had).

“Nothing will quite really for me beat Too Darn Hot. The thing about Too Darn Hot is that he was written off as he broke his leg when he was only a few days old. Everyone said he would never race but he miraculously healed which was great and the first time I saw him go and win was amazing.”

Rob Hornby, rider of the runner-up Westover said: “It’s a good track for him, climbing for the first six furlongs, and he relaxed beautifully and got into a good position. They weren’t the horses I had in mind to be in front of me, but I was sat in the position I wanted and I was able to stay one off the rail for a clear run into the straight.

“In fairness the winner showed very good acceleration, whereas I was more building through the gears into top gear. He’s a big horse, and he just didn’t have that acceleration like the winner. She was very impressive, and we pulled well clear of the third.”

Ralph Beckett, trainer of Westover, added: “I thought it was a really good effort.

“He’s been beaten by a filly who has come here at the top of her game. She’s a very, very good mare, and well done them. He just didn’t have the pace that she did, but it was a good effort. We’ll think about where we go next. He gets every hard of that trip and we might think about going a bit further. There are lots of things we can do.”

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of the third-placed Point Lonsdale, said: “He ran very well and we’re very happy with the run. He got left in front maybe and ideally he’d maybe like a stronger pace and someone to lead him a bit longer Ryan (Moore) thought, but he ran very well.

“It will be interesting (to see how that form pans out) and we learned a lot about our horse today. I’m not sure where we’ll see him next, he could be a Hardwicke horse or something like that. He obviously gets a mile and a half but we’ll know a bit more about him the next time.”


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