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Frankie’s flying high again!

20 Aug 2011

Frankie Dettori drew level with Tom Queally at the top of the QIPCO British Champions Series jockeys' leaderboard after a fine victory on Opinion Poll in the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup.

Frankie’s flying dismount from Opinion Poll following their Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup victory.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Opinion Poll maintained his fine record in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance division with victory in the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup over two miles at York this afternoon, following on from his victory in the Artemis Goodwood Cup and his second place in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

It was a Lonsdale Cup double for the Godolphin-owned stayer as he also took the race last year when trained by Michael Jarvis.

Duncan, winner of the first race in the Long Distance division, the Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup, was runner-up.

The victory took Frankie Dettori level with Tom Queally on five winners on the Jockey of the Series leaderboard – Queally remains in front by dint of three second places to Dettori’s one – while Mahmood Al Zarooni is now just one behind Sir Henry Cecil on the trainers’ leaderboard.

Al Zarooni confirmed that the final race in the division, the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday 15 October, is now Opinion Poll’s main target and he could also take in the next leg, the Doncaster Cup on 9 September en route.

When Duncan moved smoothly into the lead with over a quarter a mile to run from the front-running Harris Tweed, who failed to last out the two mile trip, it looked like John Gosden’s charge would supplement his victory in the mile-and-three-quarter Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup here in May.

Frankie Dettori and Opinion Poll had other ideas, however.

Ridden along to challenge Duncan over a furlong from home, Opinion Poll had a titanic battle with his rival throughout the final furlong, but Dettori’s mount was on top at the line and took the honours by three-quarters of a length.

The third horse, Bergo, was four lengths back in third.

Al Zarooni said: "He won this last year and likes the ground and the course.

"The target for him is the race at Ascot on Champions Day.

"There’s also the Doncaster Cup but the main target is Ascot and we’ll see how he gets there."

John Gosden said of the runner-up: "I think he just got outstayed in the end by a very good stayer.

“My horse ran a really good race and I’m very happy with him."