tote+ Chester Cup
|Heritage Handicap 15:35
2m 2f 140y, Class 2
|Friday 7th May 2021|
1 Falcon Eight 15/2
2 The Grand Visir 16/1
3 Hochfeld 9/1
4 Coeur de Lion 10/1
16 ran NR: Themaxwecan Distances: 2l, ½l, nk
Time: 4m 7.11s (slow by 3.41s)
🍑 What a ride from @FrankieDettori— The Winners Enclosure (@TWEnclosure) May 7, 2021
FALCON EIGHT defies a big weight in the @ChesterRaces Cup for Dermot Weld!
The 22/1 Dark Horse holds on to sixth which pays a place with SkyBet 👍🏼
📸 @AtTheRaces pic.twitter.com/oGKvUOuIdV
Frankie Dettori may be 50 and, by his own admission, only motivated by the big occasions these days – but he proved again that when it matters there are not many better as he plotted a route to win on Falcon Eight.
The Dermot Weld-trained top-weight was slowly away, meaning Dettori was faced with the conundrum of taking his medicine at the back of the pack or rushing up around the outside.
He decided to drop in to save ground and it proved an inspired move, although it also helped that when push came to shove with half a mile to run he was sat on the best horse.
Dettori had ridden Falcon Eight – who hails from an illustrious Moyglare Stud family – to win at Sandown two years ago and also rode him later that year in the Prix du Cadran. That knowledge certainly helped as he knew when to press the button.
“I had to go to Plan C. I know he’s not the fastest away and they went fast, so I just thought ‘well, I’ve got to take it’,” he said.
“The pace was honest throughout, but I was able to take a pull and I saved ground by going all the way to the back. When we got to three and a half (furlongs) out I peeled off and went two or three wide.
“I was able to sling shot around the turn and in fairness he picked up. I know he was lumping 9st 10lb, but he is a Group horse really.”
It was that manoeuvre that won him the race. Dettori found himself in the clear and with over a furlong to run the result looked inevitable, as Falcon Eight powered down the centre of the track.
“He was so much on top at the finish Dettori was able to coast over the line, winning by two lengths.
Weld does not make a habit of booking the Italian, but when he does it is a tip in itself.
“Dermot always had this race in mind – he booked me three weeks ago – and he’s a master at these kind of things. He made my life easy,” said Dettori.
“It’s a bit like Australian racing with its short straight here, because you are on a stayer, you’ve got to get them going early between the three and the two.
“In fairness this horse can be lazy at times, but today he’s shown a good turn of foot. Maybe the headgear worked, but he’s a different horse to the one I rode in the past.”
Weld was not on the Roodee to elaborate on plans, but Falcon Eight’s days in handicaps are surely over having defied a mark of 104, meaning a step back up in class looks inevitable.
“He won a Listed race (at Sandown), but maybe we over-faced him too quickly after that by running in the Prix du Cadran and races like that, but he’s matured now and he’s worth another go in some Group races,” said Dettori.
“I’m sure Mr Weld has plenty of good plans for him.”
Chester Cup Heritage Handicap
£80,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 2f 140y, Class 2
Going: Good to Soft
POS. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (10) Falcon Eight 6 9-10 D K Weld Frankie Dettori 15/2
2 (11) 2 The Grand Visir 7 9-9 Ian Williams Richard Kingscote 16/1
3 (2) ½ Hochfeld 7 9-4 3ex Mark Johnston Connor Beasley 9/1
4 (8) nk Coeur De Lion 8 9-0 Alan King Thore Hammer Hansen 10/1
5 (12) ½ Trumpet Man 4 9-2 Mark Johnston Franny Norton 10/1
6 (9) nk Glencadam Glory 7 9-1 Tim Easterby Jason Hart 16/1
7 (13) nk Not So Sleepy 9 9-6 Hughie Morrison Graham Lee 7/1J
8 (14) 2 Rochester House 5 9-0 Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 18/1
9 (15) shd Future Investment 5 9-2 Ralph Beckett Hector Crouch 7/1J
10 (7) 1 Nate The Great 5 9-2 Andrew Balding David Probert 10/1
11 (5) nk Reshoun 7 9-4 Ian Williams Andrea Atzeni 25/1
12 (3) nk Who Dares Wins 9 9-9 Alan King Tom Marquand 12/1
13 (6) 22 Lucky Deal 6 9-8 Mark Johnston Andrew Breslin 80/1
14 (1) 2½ Cardano 5 9-6 Ian Williams Ryan Moore 15/2
15 (4) 21 Blakeney Point 8 9-0 Donald McCain Ella McCain 66/1
16 (16) 21 Rare Groove 6 9-8 Jedd O'Keeffe P J McDonald 20/1
NR 4 (17) Themaxwecan 5 9-9 Mark Johnston NON RUNNER