Who’s that bronze adonis behind Frankie, because it sure doesn’t look like anyone we know
Feck Fujiyama Crest!
As masters of hyperbole, we've been known to over-exaggerate the importance of events. We apologise but, just like John Francome in a saddlery shop, we get excited about little things.
When we say Frankie Dettori's €˜Magnificent Seven' victories on QEII day in 1996 was akin to the JFK assignation for bookmakers, we're not overstating the fact. To give it some modern perspective, it had all the impact of the Peter Andre/Jordan breakup on us; it took a lot of time and copious amount of chocolate ice-cream to get over it. They were meant to be, y'know. It was a financial kick in the proverbials and on its anniversary we get a little nervous that the satchel-emptying feat will occur again. We're a superstitious breed. Stranger things have happened. More than one person has slept with Wayne Rooney this year. Alan Shearer is paid to talk about football. And John McCirrick is paid to talk about horses. Ok €“ it won't happen again, but while it's improbable, it's not impossible. It was a 25,051-1 accumulator in '96.
For awhile, anytime we mentioned Frankie's name, it was more often than not followed by, €œgod damn f******* Italian€. Enough of speaking through our pockets – as a sporting achievement, it was heroic. Fair play to all those horses. QEII day is always a reminder of how fickle racing can be. This year's renewal of the QEII has been somewhat devalued with the withdrawal of Canford Cliffs. Yet, the race is still a mouth-watering prospect for racing punters and fans. Makfi is odds on, but in Rip Van Winkle, there is still stiff opposition to the 2000 Guineas winner. The Aidan O'Brien runner's optimum trip is probably 10 furlongs, but with the Ballydoyle pacemakers, the mile will be a little more testing for Mikel Delzangles's French raider. Stamina may come into play.
In Makfi's favour, he's receiving the age-related weight allowance and is returning to Ascot (the scene of his only defeat) on the back of a two length victory over 10-time Group One winner Goldikova. That form line doesn't enhance Rip's chances €“ over six lengths behind Goldikova on his seasonal debut in the Queen Anne €“ but as the year has progressed, he's become battle hardened and improved with every race. If Makfi wins, his credentials as being one of Europe's top milers will be cemented. However, Mr Van Winkle will have my money on his is back. And a €10 accumulator on all Johnny Murtagh's rides.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes | Ascot Betting