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Frankie feels fan-tastic

By Frank Brownlow

Football fan Frankie Dettori returned to the weighing room - after triumphing on Across The Stars in the King Edward Stakes at Royal Ascot - just in time to see his beloved Italy grab a late winner against Sweden at Euro 2016.

And that made victory - the Italian's 56th at the Royal meeting - all the sweeter.

"I was the only one in the weighing room watching the football," said Dettori.

He added: "Sir Michael (Stoute) has been hitting the crossbar so I'm pleased to get him a winner.

"He's a master trainer and he got this horse so well prepared for the day."

The theatre of dreams that is Royal Ascot provided one of those magical moments filled with raw emotion as Quiet Reflection continued her rise through the ranks with victory in the Commonwealth Cup.

Tears of joy trickled down the face of winning rider Dougie Costello (below), after he saw his name join a very select list of those to taste success at both Flat racing's premier meeting and the Cheltenham Festival.

To make it extra special, it was a first Group One triumph for both Costello and trainer Karl Burke, who was also gaining his first winner at the Royal fixture.

Costello, who made a brave decision to switch to the level and away from jumps less than 18 months ago, said: "I owe Karl Burke a lot and I'm so lucky.

"Karl has put me in this position and given me this opportunity. It's been a long road. This feels like the icing on top of the cake.

"Anybody would have won on her today. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

"They went a nice gallop, but she's such an honest mare. She is amazing but you would see a lot more turn of foot on better ground."

He added: "On a personal level all the years of exercising, staying in on Friday nights and not drinking, are all for moments like this."

Asked how difficult it was to adapt from jumps to the Flat, Costello, who carried his two-year-old daughter Aoife on to the presentation podium, said: "I've been quite lucky - I've been involved with a few dual-purpose yards over the years."

Burke was equally overcome: "I'm pretty emotional, but it's fantastic.

"Maybe the clever thing to do now is give her a little break and aim her at the Sprint Cup at Haydock in September, followed by Champions Day back here."

Ulster jockeys Pat Cosgrave and Martin Harley are both in action today. The pair go head to head in the Wokingham, Cosgrave on Humidor, Harley riding Outback Traveller.

Belfast Telegraph


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