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Hackwood Stakes: Dettori eyeing perfect return at Newbury with Lezoo

| 21.07.2023

Frankie Dettori has high hopes of making a successful return from suspension aboard Lezoo in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.

The 52-year-old incurred a nine-day ban for careless riding aboard Saga in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, with a subsequent appeal proving unsuccessful, as well as an eight-day suspension for a whip offence aboard Queen Anne second Inspiral.

As a result, Dettori missed the ride on Coral-Eclipse runner-up Emily Upjohn and was denied the opportunity to partner the third-placed Kinross in last weekend’s July Cup, the only British Group One to elude him during a glittering riding career.

But punters are looking for him to come back with a bang when partnering 5/1 chance Lezoo this weekend.

“Having missed the last two big Saturdays due to suspension, Frankie returns to action and punters are backing Lezoo to give him more big race success on his farewell tour,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

Dettori is keen to move on from those disciplinary problems, as he readies himself for what he hopes will be a busy second half of the season.

“I’m back and there is so much to look forward to,” he said. “There’s the King George, Goodwood, Deauville and York. It’s going to be a packed summer and I’m looking forward to it.”

Lezoo proven at a higher level

Like Kinross, Lezoo is trained by Ralph Beckett and carries the colours of Dettori’s long-time friend and supporter Marc Chan.

The magical Italian steered her to two of her four juvenile wins last year before William Buick took over for her Group One win in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

She has failed to trouble the judge in either the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket or the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot so far this term but Dettori is confident about her chances in Saturday’s Group Three.

He added: “Lezoo was a Group One winner last year and she’s owned by Marc Chan and Andrew Rosen, who are two good friends of mine. It is always extra nice when you ride for your friends.

“I think we can put a line through Ascot, she just didn’t turn up. She’s a Group One winner and a good filly, so let’s hope we can get her going back to winning ways.”

The Michael Dods-trained Commanche Falls returns to Pattern level after a confidence-boosting Listed success at the Curragh three weeks ago and is the 4/1 favourite with Coral.

The six-year-old finished third behind stablemate Azure Blue and Highfield Princess in the Duke of York Stakes on his penultimate start and was beaten just a head by Garrus in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket earlier in the year.

“It’s obviously a tougher race than the one in Ireland, but it’s the only race there is for him really, so we’ll have to see how he gets on,” said Dods. “He ran well at York before he won in Ireland, so hopefully he’s going there in good form.”

Commanche Falls, Coral Stewards' Cup, Goodwood Festival races

The Charlie Hills-trained Garrus is in opposition once more, while Adam Kirby is looking forward to riding 13/2 shot Rohaan for trainer David Evans.

He said: “Rohaan’s last run at Ascot was much more pleasing. He is moving well and hopefully he can show his hand on Saturday.

“He finished off well, but it was a very slowly-run race. We were just pleased he came home and was only beaten a couple of lengths.

“Any rain will do him no harm but some of his best form is in top-flight races on good to firm, so we’ll see.”

Other contenders include Mick Appleby’s King’s Stand third Annaf, who has since finished fourth in the Coral Charge at Sandown, and the Karl Burke-trained Cold Case, who bids to bounce back from a disappointing showing behind Little Big Bear in the Sandy Lane at Haydock.

Hackwood Stakes odds

4/1 Commanche Falls

5/1 Lezoo

13/2 Rohaan

17/2 Mitbaahy

9/1 Annaf

10/1 bar

View the latest horse racing odds

All odds and markets correct at date of publication



Tony Kelshaw