Jack mitchell

Frankie gets his last Royal Ascot hurrah – in spades

We all wanted Frankie to have a last Royal Ascot hurrah. In the end he got four, including a ninth Gold Cup to list on the Dettori honours board, a ride in carriage four of the Royal Procession and a cheeky kiss for the Queen. Ascot has always done for him what the Hollies crowd at Edgbaston have done for Stuart Broad, revved up by his flailing arms as he pounds into the wicket. But let us not grieve: a truly thrilling Ascot provided plenty more evidence of quality in the saddle. John Gosden wryly noted of Mostahdaf: ‘He’s going to enjoy being a stallion’ ‘Riding is about reaction,’ said

The importance of second chances

A Sandown Saturday proved the perfect send-off for 12 raceless days on the otherwise wonderful Isle of Mull. A Frankie Dettori win on a progressive colt who could bring the Queen a Derby victory in her Platinum Jubilee year of 2022, another victory that restored the rumbustious Jane Chapple-Hyam’s faith in her best filly, and a talk with a jockey whose career is taking off nicely thanks to hard grafting after an early mistake left me in perfect holiday mood. I was bouncing anyway thanks to a meticulously researched family history that Mrs Oakley had bought me to celebrate a birthday with a big zero attached. Links back through a