Dettori thrilled to be on Redkirk Warrior
FRANKIE Dettori has given Redkirk Warrior the ultimate endorsement ahead of next week's Diamond Jubilee Stakes tilt, comparing Lindsay Park's sprinter with Australia's previous Royal Ascot winners, including Black Caviar.
Dettori said Australia's sprinting depth was a key factor in accepting David Hayes's offer to ride the dual Newmarket Handicap winner at Ascot - four years after the chestnut left England as a staying prospect.
"Obviously the Australian sprinters, they are great horses," Dettori said.
"When you think of Miss Andretti, Choisir, the great mare Black Caviar, their sprinters are amazing.
"So Redkirk Warrior comes into the race with a great profile and I wouldn't swap him for anything else.
"His form is good, he likes to go straight, fast ground. All seems to be great.
"David Hayes obviously thinks a lot of this horse."
Redkirk Warrior is on the third line of betting with local bookmakers at $6.50, behind Harry Angel ($3) and former Victorian Merchant Navy ($4).
Ben Hayes said the gelding had settled in well at Newmarket, where he is stabled in the same box used by Black Caviar.
"I've been really happy with him since (he arrived) and he's done everything right. He's moving and sound so I'm really happy," Hayes said.
"It's an advantage that he's been on the track. That was a long time ago, but we know he handles it.
"I definitely think he's got the credentials to run well ... winning a Newmarket Handicap and a Lightning Stakes is pretty good form for Ascot.
"In the Lightning he came from last and in the Newmarket he led and won, so he's pretty bombproof."
Six Australian-trained horses have scored in Ascot's two premier sprints - Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes (1000m) and next Saturday's Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m).
Trail-blazing Choisir (2002) was followed to King's Stand victory by Takeover Target ('06), Miss Andretti ('07) and Scenic Blaze ('09).
Choisir completed a famous double in the Diamond Jubilee 16 years ago - and was followed to victory a decade later by Black Caviar.
Starspangledbanner, who was trained in Melbourne by Leon Corstens before being transferring to Ireland's Aidan O'Brien, underlined Australia's standing as a sprinting powerhouse when he won the Diamond Jubilee in 2010.
With 56 Royal Ascot winners, Dettori has been more successful at the meeting than any other active jockey.
He missed last year's carnival with a broken shoulder.