Frankie Dettori swansong continues with spectacular four-time winner at Santa Anita
Dettori, who will will team up with last year's runner-up Country Grammer in the $20million Saudi Cup next weekend, announced his intention to retire from the saddle at the Breeders' Cup meeting in November this year following a glittering career. His latest stint in North America has been hugely successful since he partnered the Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammer to success in the Grade Two San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita on Boxing Day. The 52-year-old still has plenty of star power and is arguably riding as well has he ever has in the last couple of months. Dettori started the ball rolling on a super Saturday in California when guiding home Piroli (2-1) for Michael McCarthy to land a mile claimer, before powering Harper's Gallop (10-11 favourite) to success in the nine-furlong starter allowance for trainer Leonard Powell. The Italian then steered Teddy's Barino (9-2) to success for Mark Glatt in the seven-furlong claimer, upsetting the Baffert-trained odds-on shot Adare Manor. Yet the best was saved until last, with the biggest win of the evening coming aboard Freedom Flyer. With three late withdrawals in the $100,000 Wishing Well Stakes, there were just six runners for the extended six-furlong contest and the Dettori-partnered 7-1 chance dug deep to fend off joint-favourites Big Summer and Bay Storm to claim the prize. Speaking to TVG, Dettori said of the Powell-trained filly: "I will be honest, with the late scratching, smaller field, I knew I had speed. "It is a filly that you want to save as much as you can and I wasn't able to get to the front on my own terms and the last sixteenth of the mile I was basically on my hands and knees, but her heart got her past the line in front, so it was a good effort. "The hillside course is really exciting. They go fast down that hill, you have to cross over. You have to get everything right and haven't got much time to think. You can win and lose the race by doing the wrong move at the wrong time, but it is really fun to ride."
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