QIPCO British Champions Day 2023

Dettori starts QIPCO British Champions Day with a bang on Trawlerman

Frankie Dettori made a stunning start to his final QIPCO British Champions Day as he drove Trawlerman (9/1) to a gutsy success in the opening G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

In what was a proper test of stamina thanks to the strong pace set by outsider Maxident, Trawlerman looked like he might have run his race when passed by Kyprios (11/10F) turning for home.

However, Godolphin’s five-year-old found extra to get back up and score by a neck, with the front pair 13 lengths clear of third-placed Sweet William (17/2), who was completing a one-three for trainers John & Thady Gosden.

Dettori said: “I heard the roar of the crowd, oh my God, it was special; especially when I was cantering back. I couldn’t believe it. I have beaten one of my greatest rivals – I have tremendous respect for Ryan Moore [rider of Kyprios] – on my final day; sensational.

“Ryan passed me comfortably and I thought he’s going to go and win by three lengths but, once he couldn’t get away from me, I thought well maybe there’s a little bit left here. In fairness, Trawlerman was very professional, a great, great battler.”

John Gosden said: “The plan was to go forward, and then we heard that the other horse was going to go very hard, and so the idea was to take a lead and use him as a target.

“The genius of Mr Dettori was not to throw everything at it at the head of the straight, but to come there – Kyprios swept past – collect again and come back on the line. I would say that was superb judgement on his part, and the other horse ran a blinder in third.

“Like all of us, he [Dettori] doesn’t always get it perfect, but he’s a wonderful judge of pace and has great feel for the horse – as has Ryan Moore on the second. Let me tell you, two amazing jockeys and we are lucky to have them riding together.

“I knew the horse wasn’t finished, but I never thought he’d come back up and win. It lifted the crowd. Imagine if he [Dettori] wins the next – it’ll take the roof off the place.

“When he is at this peak, there is nobody greater. He lets the crowd carry him, he operates very much on that. He has enormous energy, fabulous talent but Sir Alex Ferguson would have found him hard to manage sometimes as well.

“Without doubt he is the most phenomenal jockey I have ever put on a horse, pound for pound the greatest, and I’ve been lucky enough to leg up a lot of great jockeys over the years.”

Aidan O’Brien said of Kyprios and Broome (6th): “Kyprios ran a great race. I’m delighted on how he has come back this season. Obviously, he made great progress from the Curragh, and ran a great race.

“Broome ran grand, he probably wants better ground now, but still ran OK. I think it’s soft and maybe heavy down the back.”

1.15pm QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)

1 Trawlerman (Godolphin) John & Thady Gosden 5-9-09 Frankie Dettori 9/1

2 Kyprios (Moylgare, Magnier, Tabor, Smith, Westerberg) Aidan O’Brien IRE 5-9-09 Ryan Moore 11/10F

3 Sweet William (Normandie Stud Ltd) John & Thady Gosden 4-9-09 Rab Havlin 17/2

8 ran

*John & Thady Gosden – 2nd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day

Frankie Dettori – 10th winner on QIPCO British Champions Day

*John Gosden enjoyed eight winners on QIPCO British Champions Day in his own name.