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“I want to cry” says Frankie Dettori after more Melbourne Cup heartache

5 Nov 2019

Jockey finished second past on Gold Cup third Master Of Reality but was demoted for causing interference and banned eight days

Vow And Declare and Craig Williams, far side, win the Melbourne Cup from Master Of Reality and Prince Of Arran. Photo GALOPPFOTO/

It was a case of so close, yet so far for horses who had made an impact in the QIPCO British Champions Series in the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained Master Of Reality, third to Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, was second passed the postat Flemington behind Vow And Declare under Frankie Dettori.

Meanwhile, Il Paradiso, also third behind Stradivarius in the  Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup, finished fourth after a gripping four-way finish to the two-mile prize.

The drama did end there with Dettori subsequently banned for eight days following his ride. His mount drifted across the track in the final half-furlong, impeding the run of Il Paradiso, who was trying to challenge between Master Of Reality and Vow And Declare.

Wayne Lordan had to stop riding aboard Il Paradiso, who is trained by O’Brien’s father Aidan, and the stewards quickly called an inquiry before eventually opting to demote Master Of Reality to fourth and suspend Dettori until November 14.

The Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Arran was promoted to second – one place better than last year – with Il Paradiso boosted to third.

Joseph O’Brien won the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Rekindling and he was disappointed Master Of Reality could not give Dettori his first win in the race, with the Italian having twice finished second in 1999 and 2015.

He told “I’m more gutted for Frankie than I am for myself. I’ll be back. I don’t know if Frankie is ever going to win this race.”

Dettori has enjoyed a stellar year with 19 Group One winners to his name, including three wins for supermare Enable and another Stayers’ Million prize with Stradivarius.

However, he has endured a luckless run at Flemington, with his 17th ride on Master Of Reality resulting in a suspension that began immediately on Tuesday and ends on November 13, after pleading guilty to a charge of careless riding.

It is not the first time Dettori has fallen foul of the stewards in the Melbourne Cup, with the rider suspended for a month and fined 20,000 for causing interference on runner-up Max Dynamite four years ago. He was also suspended for a month for careless riding on Mamool in 2004.

Returning to the weighing room, Dettori said: “I want to cry.”

Owner Nick Williams added: “I’m shattered for him, nothing would have been better for Master Of Reality to have won the race for him.”

Lordan was satisfied with Il Paradiso’s effort, saying: “Would’ve done with jumping a bit quicker. (He) didn’t get an ideal position, but ran well.”

Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter became the first British-trained winner last year, but had to settle for eighth under top weight this time while Richard Hannon’s Raymond Tusk was 16th.

Aidan O’Brien also saddled Magic Wand (10th) and Hunting Horn (15th) while Twilight Payment (11th), Latrobe (18th) and Downdraft (22nd) all finished down the field for Joseph O’Brien.