Royal Ascot 2019: Frankie Dettori and Stradivarius win second Gold Cup in a row

Frankie Dettori and Stradivarius
Frankie Dettori and Stradivarius have won back-to-back Gold Cups at Royal Ascot

Frankie Dettori guided Stradivarius to a second successive Gold Cup victory at Royal Ascot as the in-form jockey won the first four races on Ladies' Day.

The John Gosden-trained evens favourite pulled clear to see off runner-up Dee Ex Bee with Master Of Reality in third.

It was a seventh Gold Cup triumph for Dettori, who was labelled a "superstar" after his double success on Wednesday.

"What an amazing horse he is. He is a horse for the big occasion and I love him dearly," said the Italian.

"I am only nervous because the people care so much about this horse. It's a wonderful story. Every time he runs he delivers."

Stradivarius is now on a seven-race winning streak, with his last defeat coming on Champions Day in 2017.

Frankie Dettori
Dettori won his first Gold Cups with Drum Taps in 1992 and 1993

Dettori led with Turgenev in the fifth race of the day, the Britannia Stakes, but was pipped near the finish by Harry Bentley on Biometric.

Dettori kicked off his winning streak by guiding A'Ali to a narrow victory from Ventura Rebel in the Norfolk Stakes, with Dubai Station thirdas favourite and early leader Sunday Sovereign fell away to finish eighth.

"It brings back some great memories," said Dettori, who previously worked with A'Ali's trainer Simon Crisford at Godolphin. "I'm really delighted. He's been great to me through my career."

He then delivered his second win of the day with Sangarius in the Hampton Court Stakes as he led Sir Michael Stoute's charge home by two and a quarter lengths from 7-2 favourite Fox Chairman.

The 48-year-old completed his hat-trick on Gosden's 4-1-priced Star Catcher in the Ribblesdale Stakes, beating 7-4 favourite Fleeting by a length and a half, with Sparkle Roll in third.

"Having the first three winners on Gold Cup and Ladies' Day, it can't get any better than this," added Dettori, who won all seven races on the card at Ascot in September 1996.

But it did, and Dettori landed his 66th race win at Ascot to claim the Gold Cup.

Dee Ex Bee led for the majority of the two-and-a-half-mile contest, with Dettori and Stradivarius appearing to be boxed in.

Once a gap opened up the five-year-old took his chance to eventually pass the post a length to the good and become the first horse to win successive Gold Cups at Ascot since Yeats completed four in a row in 2009.

The Mark Johnston-trained Dee Ex Bee rallied to finish a nose ahead of 66-1 shot Master Of Reality in third.

The King George V Stakes, the final race of the day, was won by jockey Seamie Heffernan on South Pacific with Constantinople second and Eminence in third.

Analysis

Cornelius Lysaght, BBC horse racing correspondent

Ascot has a famously rich history, but over the centuries few characters surely can have outshone Dettori at this place.

It's his favourite track, and he's its favourite jockey. He positively thrives on the top class sport and on the sense of occasion even at the 'non-Royal' fixtures.

Twenty two years after his 'Magnificent Seven' out of seven at Ascot, there was a strong sense of deja vu today as he won the first four, and though a 'Super Six' wasn't to be, still taking four prizes, fiercely competitive as ever, on a Royal Ascot day is magnificent - just like his dual Gold Cup winner.

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