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Maestro Dettori is ready for a Magical time at Ascot

By Nick Robson

Frankie Dettori has pointed towards Magical Memory being his best chance at Royal Ascot on the "biggest week" of his year.

The popular Italian rides Ascot as well as anyone, and is the leading current jockey at the big fixture - which starts on Tuesday - on 52 winners, ahead of Ryan Moore on 36.

Dettori said: "Royal Ascot is the biggest week of my year. I travel all over the world, but Ascot is still at the top of the pile and the Royal meeting is the pinnacle.

"I said at the start of the season that I'd be making the Royal meeting one of my key targets this year. I'm not going all over the country again in a bid to be champion jockey, but when it comes to Royal Ascot week I am going all out to be top jockey.

"I know it won't be easy, but I've had a good look at some of my rides and you write me off at your peril (to be top jockey for the week). I'm going to throw everything at next week and I can't wait for it to arrive now.

"My best chance of the week could be with Magical Memory on Saturday (Diamond Jubilee Stakes). Charlie (Hills) has a great ability with his sprinters and I don't see a rival in the race that I'd rather be on.

"I know that Wesley Ward's two-year-olds are going to have to fire if I'm to stand a chance, but I went down to Manton last week and they look tremendous. I'd say their preparations couldn't have been better. It's up to me now to show them to best effect.

"Lady Aurelia and Create A Dream both look picture perfect. Those two fillies really excite me."

Speaking in his blog for Ladbrokes, Dettori said: "I'm on standby for Time Test and hoping it works out that I reunite with him after winning last year. I'm on Mehmas in the Coventry, who is second-favourite, and I rode Nemoralia for Jeremy (Noseda) earlier this week and she gave me a great feel (ahead of the Coronation Stakes).

"The St James's Palace on the opening day looks high class. Everyone is excited about The Gurkha after what he did in France, but my own Guineas winner (Galileo Gold) is in tremendous shape. Awtaad is in there for what could be a sensational race and I'm keen to have another crack at turning the tables on him after what happened in Ireland.

"The more I talk about it the more I convince myself I've got a fighting chance next week."

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