ROYAL ASCOT 2020: Dettori's star still shines brightest as he wins top jockey prize

Frankie Dettori celebrates winning The St James's Palace Stakes as he finished the top jockey at Royal Ascot for the seventh time.

Horse racing remains a sport in orbit around Frankie Dettori and a seventh leading jockey award at Royal Ascot is proof his star shines brighter than ever, writes Tom Harle

Three wins made it a super Saturday for the Italian and propelled him past Jim Crowley to top of the charts with six wins for the week.

Victory with Jessica Harrington’s Alpine Star in the Coronation Stakes saw him complete the full set of Group One wins at the royal meeting.

And nearly 30 years to the day since he rode his first winner at Ascot, the 49-year-old drew level with hero Pat Eddery on 73 triumphs.

“It is been an unbelievable day and an unbelievable Royal Ascot,” gushed Dettori.

“To come out of here with six ones is not easy.

“I sat next to Pat for 15 years, he was one of my heroes. I used to nickname him ‘God’ and to equal him gives me great satisfaction, God bless him.

“When I started on Tuesday with a second in the Queen Anne, I thought ‘Oh it could be one of those weeks’.

“We start on Tuesday and think, ‘Oh, it is going to be a long five days’, but it goes like a flash.

“The racing has been second to none and I hope the people at home have really enjoyed it because it has been tremendous racing this week.”

It all started with success in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes, Dettori helping American trainer Wesley Ward to a first victory of the week with Campanelle.

Then came the elusive Coronation and a fragile filly Dettori was very keen on in Alpine Star that romped home by nearly five lengths from Sharing.

It now means Newmarket’s July Cup is the only of Britain’s 36 top level races that Dettori hasn’t won.

Victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes with aptly-named Palace Pier followed as Dettori saw off much-vaunted Godolphin star Pinatubo.

But plugging the gap in his unrivalled racing CV with the Coronation Stakes was perhaps the sweetest of the whole week.

“I woke up this morning thinking I had some great rides,” said Dettori, dispensing with the espresso shots he admitted he needed to get going on Tuesday.

“It has taken 30 years to win all the Group Ones, but I can say that I have really conquered Royal Ascot now – I am delighted for all the people concerned.

“This was missing, Royal Ascot means a lot to me, the Coronation, I have been riding here for 30 years, but for some reason I have never managed to get on the right horse."