FRANKIE Dettori got a fine tune out of top stayer Stradivarius on his return to action at Ascot.
The legendary Italian, 50, was all smiles after steering John Gosden’s three-time Gold Cup winner to an easy Sagaro Stakes success.
The seven-year-old is now 6-4 from 2-1 with Coral to equal Yeats’ four Gold Cup triumphs at Royal Ascot and Frankie declared: “The dream is still alive.”
There was rarely a moment’s worry for Stradivarius’ backers, as he travelled enthusiastically throughout.
He quickened up nicely in the straight to win with plenty in hand from Ocean Wind – but Frankie was critical of his own performance in the saddle.
Dettori said: "His homework has been good but I was scared to give those fit horses too much rope.
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“I was three lengths off them and angled him out and all of a sudden I was on top of them.
“I got there far too soon – I need to go and learn how to ride!”
He continued: "He is a real character. In the mornings he wants to cover every horse he sees and he does his own thing on the gallops.
“He’s seven now and John does a great job at keeping him motivated.
"When he shows that kind of turn of foot, you know he hasn't lost any of his gears. We tried the Arc de Triomphe and things didn't go his way, but this is his bread and butter.
"(Owner) Bjorn Nielsen was worried he was losing interest in racing but he was fantastic.
“Stayers like him with a turn of foot are very rare. When Yeats won four Gold Cups you thought no one would ever get near it – but the dream is still alive.”
Gosden added: “He is a gorgeous fun horse to be around. He’s won three Gold Cups and four Goodwood Cups. It’s a bit of a dream come true.
“The old horse has still got all of his enthusiasm and Frankie was very pleased with him.”
But Clive Cox’s dreams of a Royal Ascot win with last year’s top two-year-old Supremacy are in tatters after the colt finished last in the Pavilion Stakes.
The Middle Park winner was 10-11 favourite to make a winning reappearance and set up a tilt at the Commonwealth Cup.
But he flopped badly and was pushed out to 12-1 from 4s with Betfair as 22-1 shot Rohaan caused a huge shock.
Cox said: “That was too bad to be true. We will get him home and give him a proper checking over."
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