Frankie Dettori’s annus mirabilis continued apace at Doncaster as the veteran rider won his 15th Group One of 2019 and sixth William Hill St Leger on the red-hot favourite Logician.
Trained by his old ally John Gosden, who provided him with his 1996 win in the race on Shantou, there was never a moment of worry aboard the unbeaten colt, who gave Frankel his second British Classic following on from stablemate Anapurna’s win in the Oaks.
That filly kick-started Dettori’s golden summer in June and since then big race after big race has followed, including seven Royal Ascot winners, an Irish Oaks and the Eclipse and King George on Enable.
Of course the best could still be to come with that mare set for her date with destiny in three weeks, as she chases an unprecedented third win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
For those in the bumper South Yorkshire crowd who sent Logician off the 5-6 favourite, it all went to plan and the roar which accompanied Dettori hitting the front over two furlongs out reverberated around the whole of Town Moor.
Briefly Aidan O’Brien’s Sir Dragonet threatened to pose a threat, but Logician soon quickened away and stayed the trip strongly, although Gosden suggested he will be dropping back down to a mile and a half next season with the hope being he can replace Enable when she heads off to the paddocks.
“John has always been keen on him and I should have known when he made me go to Newbury one evening to ride him in a handicap – I thought it was strange,” said Dettori, just two short of his best-ever tally of 16 top-level victories in a season, achieved in 2001.
“He showed in the Voltigeur he was a good horse and there’s plenty more to come next year.
“There were no problems today, maybe at the start when he jumped so good and took me on a little bit, but from over two out I knew I’d won.
“The St Leger has been very lucky for me. That was probably my easiest win (in the race), and he is a serious horse.
“The ground is riding quite quick now so I let him drift right. I kept an eye on Sir Dragonet, but he came off the bridle quickly.
“I heard the roar, but we get it about five seconds later, so I’d nearly won by then! But it’s brilliant, there’s nearly 30,000 here, he was the hot favourite so hopefully they’ve lumped on.
“We came with massive expectations, everyone wants to see a favourite win on the big day and he truly delivered. He’s got plenty of pace and a mile and a half next year is what he will be aimed for.
“He’s only five times, it’s scary to say but there is some improvement there. We’ll have him next year and I can’t wait.”
Reflecting on his incredible year, the 48-year-old said: “It’s been a great year, thankfully I ride for a great trainer who has lots of good horses in good races. We’ve won two Classics this year and we’ll enjoy this moment before we get ready for the Arc in three weeks’ time.”
Dettori can now add Logician’s name to those of Classic Cliche, Shantou, Scorpion, Sixties Icon and Conduit, and while the latter went on to win at Breeders’ Cup twice, it would be hard to say he set the pulse racing like this fellow.
Logician did not make his debut until May 17, having been unraced at two, and his penultimate run at Newbury saw him compete off just a mark of 90.
To win a Classic two runs later and maintain an unbeaten record proves the sky really is the limit, and with Enable set to bow out after the Arc, connections appear to have a ready-made replacement.