P. Subramanyam

London: Frankie Dettori steered Ramonti to victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1,600m) at Ascot recently. This was the jockey’s fourth victory in the event. A fine crowd gave him a rousing call to finish the race in a majestic fashion.

The Godolphin challenger kicked for the winning line with two furlongs to get past the pacesetter Duke of Marmalade. But, the winner, a 5-1 shot maintained his challenge over the final furlong with the favourite Excellent Art closing in.

The win added to Ramonti’s success earlier this season in the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal meeting and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Duke of Marmalade, Mick Kinane’s mount, set out at a tough pace but Ramonti was just behind him and Dettori, without giving any hope of lagging behind, made his intentions clear as he asked his mount for an extra effort.

Ramonti responded quickly to build a clear lead and beat Excellent Art by half a length with Duke of Marmalade the same distance away in third.

Upon winning, a delighted Dettori said: “Now he is undoubtedly the best miler in Europe. He has won three of the biggest races and is a true champion.

“It was a long way from the two-furlong marker to the line but I had a great champion underneath me and I could hear the whips cracking. He is an ultimate professional and a great fighter.”

Winning trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor was quick to heap praise on Ramonti — “Frankie gave him a brilliant ride and the horse was in great form and it was a very tough race but the horse had the class to win.”

In another important race, the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes, Kevin Darley on City Leader, owned by Sangster family and trained by Brian Meehan (9-1) scored a comfortable win beating Achill Island (Johnny Murtagh) and Scintillo (Ryan Moore).

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