Frankie Dettori qualified for the Epsom Derby after claiming victory in a trial race at the first race meeting of the 2016 season at Epsom Downs Racecourse yesterday.
Dettori rode So Mi Dar, a progressive filly, to victory over a field of colts in the Investec Derby Trial in the 2.30 on Wednesday, April 20.
Thousands flocked to Epsom in the sun to watch the first racing action of the year on the historic Downs racecourse, which has held competitive races since the 17th century.
The crowds watched Italian jockey Andrea Atzeni win the first race of the day, coming from behind to win the Investec Asset Finance Handicap Stakes, riding Normal Equilibrium.
Franny Norton later won two of the meeting’s six races, first in the Investec City and Suburban Stakes on the back of Dark Red, and then riding Medburn Dream in the Investec Private Banking Handicap Stakes.
SJ Drowne rode Barwick to victory in the Investec Corporate Banking Great Metropolitan Handicap Stakes, before Investec Specialist Cash Products Maiden Stakes was claimed by Dane O’Neill on the back of Finelcity.
Before yesterday’s action got underway, 150 people sent horseracing fan Queen Elizabeth II a special birthday message, by forming a mosaic of the Royal Silks with purple body, gold braid, scarlet sleeves, and black velvet cap with gold fringe.
Victorious jockey Dettori was announced as one of the ambassadors to this year’s Investec Derby, alongside star of the BBC’s historical drama Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson, in February.
He said: “The Epsom Derby is the greatest flat race in the world.
“It’s the one every jockey wants to win, so to have achieved this twice is something I am very proud of.
“Racing at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Derby Day is a unique feeling. In my 28 years of riding I have never felt that kind of emotion.”
Frankie Dettori rides So Di Mar to victory
Renowned as the world’s greatest flat race and one of the biggest social events in the British calendar, this year’s Investec Derby Festival takes place on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 and is estimated to attract more than 125,000 visitors.
Ladies Day tickets start from £13.50 and Derby Day tickets from £15.00 and tickets can be booked at www.epsomderby.co.uk or by calling 0844 579 3004.