Newmarket success for Dettori

Frankie Dettori made all the running on Sopranist (7-1) to make his first ride of the season a winning one in the Grand Prix White Turf St Moritz Maiden Stakes at Newmarket.

Frankie Dettori made all the running on Sopranist (7-1) to make his first ride of the season a winning one in the Grand Prix White Turf St Moritz Maiden Stakes at Newmarket.

The first race of the Craven meeting was supposed to see Henry Cecil's Native Ruler (even money) make a winning debut having been well-backed for the Derby in recent days.

However, given an easy lead out in front, Dettori, who has no peers in that situation, never had to get too serious on John Gosden's debutant.

Native Ruler threatened under Tom Queally but in the end just held off Calypso Bay for second, a length and a quarter behind the winner.

Gosden said: "We won this last year with dear old Pampas Cat.

"Frankie is clear in his mind that we got the run of the race, no one wanted to go on which often happens when there are so many unraced horses.

"He's a horse who only came in late last year and we didn't do anything with him until this spring.

"There are no fancy entries and we will come back and look for a conditions race."

Dettori added: "It is very unusual for Newmarket but there is a very steady head wind which makes it very difficult for unraced horses so I was probably in the best position.

"John said he was ready to do himself justice but it is very hard to judge his potential because of this wind."

Monsieur Chevalier (5-4 favourite) staked an early claim for Royal Ascot honours with a fine display in the Betterbet, Bookmaker Of The Year 2009 Conditions Stakes.

Subsequent Coventry Stakes hero Art Connoisseur won the corresponding race 12 months ago and trainer Richard Hannon probably has similar high hopes for this speedy youngster.

A winner at Folkestone last week, Richard Hughes was content to sit just off the pace set by Brocklesby winner Hearts Of Fire before shooting clear in the dip to beat Soccer by three and a half lengths.

Hannon said: "He's obviously got ability and I like his attitude.

"He actually couldn't care less, he's a very relaxed character.

"Hughesy was just hunting him early on and he came alive when he was asked. He also said he wants six (furlongs) now though."

Asked if he believed the juvenile was Royal Ascot material Hannon replied: "Until we see something better!

"I don't know if he would want much of this fast ground, I would not run him on fast ground again and if it was fast there he wouldn't go but you've got to make all the right entries for him."

If punters needed any further proof Gosden has his string in tremendous form Nehaam (8-1) confirmed the fact in the £400000 Tattersalls Timeform 3-Y-O Trophy.

The once-raced Derby entry travelled beautifully throughout for Richard Hills and hit the front with fully a quarter of a mile to run.

Peter Chapple-Hyam's Monitor Closely backed up his form as a juvenile and gave chase throughout the final furlong but went down by a head, while Aidan O'Brien's Rockhampton, his sole winner of the season over in Ireland to date, did not enjoy the clearest of runs before running on for third.

The winner was cut to 16-1 from 33s for the Derby by Victor Chandler.

Gosden said: "I like these Tattersalls Timeform races, Donativum won and now him.

"He's done it well and in fairness to this horse he missed two weeks as he had a horrible foot bruise that turned into an abscess, so I wanted to do one more proper bit of work with him but I ran out of time.

"He's a nice horse, Richard rode him beautifully and we'll look towards the Dante as York will suit him well."

Chapple-Hyam said of the runner-up: "He has run very well but was a bit green in the final furlong.

"The winner came across him slightly and he shied away. I would say he is Listed class or even a bit better than that.

"This was the plan all year. He is in the Dante and we will see about that. He is in the Irish Derby too but probably isn't good enough for that."

Barry Hills' Ouqba (4-1) ran out an impressive winner of the Betterbet European Free Handicap to give Hills junior a double.

An in-and-out performer as a juvenile, the Red Ransom colt was handy throughout before grabbing the rails running into the dip and shooting clear.

The 7-2 favourite Awinnersgame gave chase under Johnny Murtagh but could never get on terms and was two and three-quarter lengths away at the line with Penny's Gift third.

The disappointment of the race was last season's Coventry Stakes winner Art Connoisseur who ruined his chance early by pulling ferociously hard for Jamie Spencer and then met trouble in running.

Hills senior said: "I'm very pleased with that, he did it well,

"He's done well physically over the winter and works consistently well at home

"He has a good temperament and is laid back and professional.

"I don't quite know where he will go next yet but he is in French 2000 Guineas and the Jersey, and the Jersey springs to mind. That would suit him well, it would be right up his street."

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, said of the runner-up: "We are very pleased but that is as far as he would want to go. He has won over seven furlongs but that would be an absolute maximum for him.

"The (2000) Guineas is out of the equation after that, and we will have to sit down and formulate a plan."

Hannon said of the third: "I am very pleased with that, as she had two colts in front. They went no gallop for her, and were running into a head wind.

"Ryan thought with a stronger gallop things might have been different. She is a very tough filly and was hanging in there to the very end. Ryan thinks she'll definitely get a mile and improve for the race.

"She is in the (1000) Guineas but I have also got her entered in Italy and Germany. I will see how things work out."

Hills senior bagged his 300th winner at Headquarters when Redwood (11-4) landed the Tuddenham Mill Feilden Stakes in some style.

The least experienced member of the five-runner field, he had won his only start as a juvenile.

Niggled along at halfway by Michael Hills, he drew alongside the Cecil-trained favourite On Our Way and stretched away to win impressively.

O'Brien's Drumbeat, second in Group One company last season, ran on gamely but was two lengths away at the line.

The winning trainer said: "I'm delighted, not many people have had 300 winners here.

"I've always enjoyed coming here, its a good place for racing and a good test of a thoroughbred.

"I think he will run in the Dante next. He's not in the Derby but he could be, anything is possible."

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