Dettori and O’Neill double up on first Warwick Flat card

Flat racing returned to Warwick last Thursday with Frankie Dettori and Dane O’Neill taking the riding honours with two winners apiece, writes David Hucker.
Frankie Dettori won both divisions of the Maiden Stakes at Warwick.Frankie Dettori won both divisions of the Maiden Stakes at Warwick.
Frankie Dettori won both divisions of the Maiden Stakes at Warwick.

After some overnight rain, the going was officially good as the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Stakes got proceedings under way and a field of eight three-year-olds lined up for the six furlong trip.

First-season trainer Richard Hannon relied on Touzr, ridden by Dettori from his three entries. Jeremy Noseda, who had scooped the richest race ever run on the all-weather when Grandeur won at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, saddled the once-raced Garraun.

But, neither featured in the finish, as the unraced Dinneratmidnight, who drifted from an opening price of 11-4 to 9-2, scored from outsider Byron’s Gold in the hands of Jim Crowley.

The distance was again six furlongs for the following TurfTV Handicap with many of the runners coming here fit from a busy campaign on the all-weather during the winter, including Rigoletto trained at Wilmcote by Anabel Murphy.

Lack of match practice proved no barrier, however, to the Henry Candy-trained Apricot Sky who, despite being without a run since finishing fifth at Goodwood last September, comfortably beat Clubland and Dream Catcher

Highlight of the afternoon was the Follow Us On Twitter @warwickraces Conditions Stakes and it was Music Master, the highest-rated horse in the race, who prevailed to complete a quick double for Candy and stable jockey O’Neill.

The Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs was divided into two legs and Dettori took both of them, making all the running on Battle Command in the first division and repeating the trick on Captain Bob in the second.

Despite losing his retainer with Godolphin, Dettori remains one of the best riders in the world and the way he controlled the pace on Battle Command, quickening clear two furlongs out, was a joy to watch.

A mile was the trip for the Racing UK Handicap and favourite backers collected for the third time in the afternoon when Myboyalfie passed leade r Tenor at the furlong marker, holding on to win by a neck.

The George And Irene Ruby Anniversary Handicap was also split, with Hostile Fire, ridden by Chris Catlin for Ed de Giles, taking the first division and Aurelia Cotta getting home by a head in the second to complete a training double for the Lambourn stable of Charlie Hills, successful with Captain Bob earlier.

There is racing again on May Bank Holiday when the course will be hosting a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, with plenty of family entertainment, including a weird and wacky fancy dress competition for children up to 12 years.

Gates will open at 11.55am and the first of the seven races is due off at 1.55pm.

Tickets start from £10 if booked in advance and there is a family BBQ package for £40. Further details can be found at

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