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Article 18th April 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Not even a lack of sleep could prevent weighing room great Frankie Dettori from celebrating a winner on his first day riding back in Britain in what is his final season in the saddle after steering Covey to glory in the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes at Newmarket today. 

There might not have been one of his trademark flying dismounts following the success of the John and Thady Gosden-trained Frankel colt in the seven furlong prize, however the 52 year old was still nonetheless pleased to get his domestic tally up and running.   

Having only arrived from America, where he has been based over the winter, this morning, the three-time champion jockey showed no signs of jet lag aboard the 5-6 favourite, who he sent straight into the lead in the seven-furlong affair.

Once out in front the odds-on favourite was not for passing after going one better than on his debut at Southwell 14 days ago to claim victory by four lengths to give Dettori another win on his home track almost 35 years on from his first at the course.  

Dettori said: “I arrived this morning. I slept two hours on the plane and two hours in my bed this morning. I had to start somewhere and I felt this was a good favourite.

“Reach For The Moon was a bit disappointing but it was nice to get another winner on the board.

“I was counting it this morning and I’ve got six months until the 21st October and Champions Day so there is still plenty to do. I’m not going to start crying yet but I will enjoy it.”

On Covey he added: “He did it all his own way and he is learning still. He looks a nice horse.”

As for joint trainer John Gosden he was pleased to be able to supply his long term ally and friend, who was riding in Keeneland at the weekend, with a winner on his domestic return.

John Gosden said: “It is good to put him on a winner. He only landed at 6am this morning, but that was good.

“He ran a great race first time and has come back here today and done it in good order. He has got the rail and finished strongly. We will probably step him up to a mile.

“He got a bit sick last year and missed it but he has made rapid progress this year. I see the horse that beat him at Southwell (Zoology) is in entered in the Greenham so let’s see how that goes.”

James Tate earmarked the Listed National Stakes at Sandown Park next month for Blue Storm, who continued the flying start to the stud career of Blue Point after giving the first season sire his third winner in the Pat Smullen Memorial British EBF Novice Stakes.


Showing plenty of speed in the five furlong dash the 8-1 chance had more than enough in hand to see off fast finishing favourite Cuban Thunder by a length and a quarter.

Tate said: “That was our first two year old winner of the year and when it hits the mark at Newmarket it just feels better.

“We always picked him out as an early type as he was bred to be early. He is not the biggest. Usually mine improve for the run and though you don’t know what you have beaten you could not ask for more.

“We will target the early black type races and think of things like the National Stakes and things like that. We will look at those targets and work back from there.”



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