Frankie Dettori waves to the crowd after his last Royal Ascot ride
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Frankie Dettori was out of luck on his final Royal Ascot ride as Knockbrex trailed home well beaten in the Golden Gates Stakes won by Burdett Road.
Dettori went into an early lead on Charlie Johnston’s charge, but the writing was on the wall before the turn for home and he quickly backpeddled.
That left Liberty Lane in front but he too paid for his early exertions, as Neil Callan made stealthy progress on Michael Bell’s three-year-old.
Burdett Road (20-1) went several lengths clear and the race looked over. However, a combination of tiredness and being in front on his own meant he was in danger of being caught.
Lion Of War, briefly stuck in traffic earlier in the straight, came with a late rattle but the 9-2 joint-favourite could only close to within three-quarters of a length.
While Dettori was unable to sign off in fairytale fashion, Khaadem caused an 80-1 upset in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot.
Trained by Charlie Hills, Khaadem was given a typically patient ride by Jamie Spencer, who was recording his second big-priced winner of the week after the 50-1 success of Witch Hunter.
Winner of the Stewards’ Cup in 2019, he was fourth in the corresponding race in 2020 but had always come up short when previously tried in Group One company.
The William Haggas-trained Sacred hit the front over a furlong out and it looked like she was just going to do enough to hold on, but Spencer had bided his time exquisitely and produced Khaadem to perfection.
Khaadem was an 80-1 outside shot
Hills said: “I’ve always believed in him, he does have his quirks but most sprinters do. It’s just amazing that we’ve got to where we have now at his age, he was down at 104 I think on his last start.
“I just really wanted to run him over six here, last year he won the Group Two over five (at Goodwood) and I was really keen to take the blinkers off him and train him like a proper horse.
“Do it the right way, try to teach him how to race properly and drop him in – I thought Jamie was the perfect jockey. With this horse anything can happen, last year he raced without the jockey!”
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